Monday, June 15, 2020

USTA Hard Court Nationals 16s and 18s Set for August in Four Locations; 12s and 14s Canceled; US Open Expected to Proceed as Scheduled

After weeks of mostly bad news in the form of USTA national and sectional event cancellations, some good news came through today, with the USTA announcing that its 18s and 16s National Championships will take place as scheduled in August.

There are concessions to the pandemic, of course. Kalamazoo and San Diego will host the 18s, but the 16s divisions will move, with the boys 16s now in Mobile Alabama and the girls 16s now in Rome Georgia. Both of those facilities have more than 60 courts, which was no doubt a factor in their selection, as was their previous experience hosting Nationals. Mobile has been the recent site of the boys 12s and 14s, with Rome the site of the girls 14s last year. The 12s and 14s divisions of the USTA Nationals have been canceled for this year.

The singles draws have been reduced from 224 to 128, and as the TennisLink sites state, information on doubles and consolation play will be provided at a later date. Only one person can accompany a player, and according to information obtained by the Tennis Recruiting Network, college coaches are not allowed to attend, at least at this time.

Here in Kalamazoo, the tournament is now scheduled to start a day later, on a Saturday August 8th, rather than the customary first Friday of August when both divisions play here. The tournament may be confined to Stowe Stadium this year, with just one age division and a smaller draw now, but that may depend on the decision regarding doubles and back draw. Certainly there will be no need for the third site that has been used since the tournament went from 192 to 224 in 2017.

Registration begins on Tuesday (NOTE: registration date originally said Tuesday June 16, but now says June 18 for 16s) at these TennisLink sites:

Boys 16s (Mobile), August 7-15, 2020
Boys 18s (Kalamazoo), August 8-16, 2020
Girls 16s (Rome), August 8-15, 2020
Girls 18s (San Diego), August 9-16, 2020

Although it had been expected today, the official announcement on the US Open has not yet been released, although several different outlets are reporting that the US Open will be held as scheduled from August 31-September 13 in New York, without fans, without qualifying, without a standard slam doubles draw, and with restrictions on the number of support staff each player can bring. The plan, which may be approved by local governments and then revealed this week, also is said to include the Western and Southern Open, which will be moved to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from Mason Ohio and precede the Open.

Peter Bodo has this update for ESPN; Chris Clarey has this update for the New York Times.


Mike Kowal said...

Mobile, Alabama for National 16's boys is a great move for USA tennis because of the number of courts.