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Tuesday, March 17, 2020

French Open Announces Move to September; Wimbledon, US Open Still On; Final UTR/ITA Players of the Week Include Former Prodigy Shishkina

The cancellations continue, with several conferences officially announcing the end of spring sports, and probably most important to the average sports fan, no spring football for the Southeastern Conference. Here is today's SEC announcement and today's ACC announcement, neither of which is a surprise, given the NCAAs decision to cancel all spring sports championships in all three of its divisions last week. The Pac-12 canceled its spring schedule on Saturday and the Big Ten on Thursday. The Big 12 announced Friday it was canceling its conference and non-conference competition schedules, but is only suspending team activities and practices until March 29, as of now, at least.

The French Open shocked the tennis world with an announcement today that it was moving the 2020 tournament from May 24 to June 7 to September 20-October 4. This is a week after the US Open is scheduled to end in New York.

A few hours after the French Open announcement, Wimbledon responded with its own update:

London, UK, Tuesday 17 March 2020: The AELTC is continuing to monitor and respond to the coronavirus situation on an active basis, working closely with the government and the relevant health authorities.

Following the government’s recommendation to individuals to avoid any non-essential social gatherings and work from home where possible, the AELTC has taken the decision to close the Wimbledon Museum and Tours, Shop, and Community Sports Ground, while the All England Club and Wimbledon Park Golf Club outdoor facilities will remain open to Members on a partial basis only for the time being.

At this time, we continue to plan for The Championships and the grass court season, and we intend to maintain the Estate with a limited team onsite, with the rest of our business operations taking place through remote working.

And this evening, the USTA provided this update on the US Open. The consensus from insiders is that the French federation made this decision without input from the other slams, the tours or the players, and many tournaments on both tours already have tournaments scheduled for those new dates. The USTA statement, while not singling out the French federation by name, is obviously unhappy about the lack of any coordination on this decision and announcement.

March 17, 2020
USTA Statement on US Open Schedule

The USTA is continuing to plan for the 2020 US Open and is not at this time implementing any changes to the schedule.

These are unprecedented times, though, and we are assessing all of our options, including the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date.

At a time when the world is coming together, we recognize that such a decision should not be made unilaterally, and therefore the USTA would only do so in full consultation with the other Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup.

Maria Shishkina won the Eddie Herr 12s title in 2009
The ITA released its final edition of Players of the Week today, and one of those honored was Georgia Gwinett's Maria Genovese. Those who followed junior tennis ten years back will remember her as Maria Shishkina, who was a protege of Nick Bollettieri's as a 10-year-old from Russia. Now 21, Genovese competed for Tyler Junior College prior to joining the NAIA powerhouse this academic year, and is currently No. 2 in the ITA NAIA national singles rankings. 

For all the Players of the Week, which does not include any Division I entries, see this from the ITA website.

The Division III tennis blog has been collecting reactions from coaches, players and parents to the ending of the season and is publishing them here