Tuesday, June 2, 2020

May Aces; Decision on Kalamazoo USTA Nationals Expected Later This Month; Western & Southern Open to Move to New York?

Another month without any tennis results meant going back to the archives to continue my monthly Aces column for Tennis Recruiting Network. I located 15 performances from past Mays, beginning with 16-year-old Simona Halep in 2008, though 2014's Andrey Rublev and Danielle Collins, with all the players featured going on to reach the ATP or WTA Top 100 in subsequent years. I did the same for April last month, with that column here (subscription required for full access.)

Andy Pepper, a local sports announcer at WWMT, the CBS affiliate in Kalamazoo, provided an update on the status of the USTA Boys 18 and 16 National Championships in Kalamazoo in this article. Whether the 78th edition of the Kalamazoo tournament will take place this August is a decision that will be made by the USTA, and while that decision had been expected on June 8th, it now appears it will be the following week instead. Despite living here, I have no inside information on how the tournament would look or change, but I suspect the number of players mentioned in this article--450, the usual number in a normal year-- could be revised downward. I do know that, as of last week, the nets were not up at the Stowe Stadium site, so the sense of being "back-to-normal" in Kalamazoo is just not there. But with the Michigan Stay at Home order lifted now for most businesses and gatherings, there is reason to be optimistic. From the WWMT article on the new rules for physical activity:

Gyms and fitness centers can offer outdoor activities such as classes, practices, training sessions and games as long as participants, coaches and spectators stay six feet apart.

Chris Clarey of the New York Times published an exclusive today that reveals that the USTA is considering moving the Western and Southern Open, the WTA Premier and ATP Masters event in Mason Ohio in August, to New York, to be played at the National Tennis Center. Clarey also provides quite a few other details, several of which were mentioned in the recent Associated Press article, about what would and would not be a part of the US Open. Unfortunately, the junior event appears as if it would be a casualty, which isn't surprising really, but disappointing. With no fans on the ground and no television interest, there's really no reason to have the junior (or legends) tournaments, as it would just complicate all the safety protocols and logistics.


Brian deVilliers said...

How about having the juniors for the good of the game

Jon King said...

There is a pandemic Brian. It will be hard enough to create a bubble for the pro players. Adding juniors to the mix would not be smart. Somehow the tennis world will be okay if juniors sit out this years US Open.