Friday, May 15, 2020

USTA Clay Court Championships and Pro Circuit Events in July Canceled; ATP, ITF Extend Tour Suspension Window through July

There have been no Level 1 USTA National Junior Championships played since the Winter Nationals concluded in early January, with July's Clay Court Championships now joining the Easter Bowl on the sidelines due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The USTA announced today that the 12, 14s, 16s and 18s Clay Courts will not take place in the seven cities in three states that annually host these major tournaments.

In addition, the USTA announced that the five men's and six women's Pro Circuit July events not previously canceled (the ATP Challengers in Winnetka and Binghamton had been canceled earlier) are not happening. Women's Pro Circuit tournaments that have been canceled in those three weeks are $60Ks in Berkeley, CA; Concord, MA; Springfield MA and $25Ks in Atlanta, GA; Evansville IN and Charlotte, NC. Men's Pro Circuit events canceled are $25Ks in Charlotte, NC and Champaign, IL and $15Ks in Rochester, NY; Norman, OK and Iowa City, IA. 

That's the bad news. The good news is that the USTA has not canceled sectional events en masse, meaning that, depending on local restrictions, USTA sanctioned play is possible beginning June 1, which is two weeks from Monday. None of the sections have updated their Covid statements after this latest USTA decision today, but I have heard a few sections are planning to move forward with their Sectional Closed and other events in June and July as long as public health and government officials allow it. I will continue to monitor the information posted by the 17 USTA sections, but I welcome in the comments any confirmed dates for Level 1 sectional events that you know are happening.

In addition to the announcement from the USTA, the ATP and the ITF put out statements that extended their suspension dates from July 12, to July 31, eliminating three more weeks of events. In the United States, that means no ATP events in Newport Rhode Island and Atlanta, with Washington DC (men and women) and San Jose(women) now the first US events on the ATP and WTA calendars.

The WTA suspended four additional July events, but two tournaments later in the month, in Palermo Italy and Karlsruhe Germany, remain on the schedule.

Again, although this is disappointing, there is reason for optimism, with this suspension extending just weeks, not months, and preserving hope for some sort of a hard court season prior to the US Open. The next significant deadline for decisions is mid-June.


Tennis Parent said...

The link you provided states that events are canceled only through May 31:

"Due to the situation surrounding the COVID-19 virus, and after discussions with the USTA Medical Advisory Committee*, the USTA has suspended USTA sanctioned products and events through May 31."

Colette Lewis said...

If you go to the paragraph beginning "All Category 1" you will find this: "all USTA Pro Circuit events will align with the same calendar as the ITF and be suspended through July 31. The ATP has also suspended events through July 31, while the WTA has suspended select events in July. In addition, the USTA has made the decision, separately, to cancel the 2020 National Clay Court Championships scheduled for July 11-19, and which would have taken place in seven cities across three states."

Jon King said...

I would think local USTA juniors should resume before long. Proworld Academy in Florida is hosting match play already with safety rules in place. Surely local USTA events can get started again now that most areas are reopening.

Alex Ho said...

I can see section tennis coming back especially in areas hit less hard, but travel is going to take a while. Hotels and planes are not terminally, so I don't think you will see a rush back to regional and national events. Players would feel the pressure to compete at national events for points and exposure even if they are from hot spot, this would increase exposure to everyone.

I think this is huge issue for resumption of tour with weekly travel and hotels, if one player tests positive at any point what do you do? Team sports have better chance with bubble cities, but same problem if one player tests positive your done.