Friday, July 24, 2020

My Look at an ITA Summer Circuit Event During the Pandemic; Chicago's Quarantine Rules Complicate Sectional Event; ITF Cancels Junior Finals in China; ATP Events Also Pulled

Social distancing at the Grand Rapids ITA Summer Circuit tournament desk
As I posted Monday, when I wrote about the finals of the ITA Summer Circuit tournament I attended in Grand Rapids, I have prepared another article about the event, which has been published today at The Tennis Recruiting Network. This article is more about returning to tennis during the pandemic, with thoughts from all four finalists about playing competitively again, as well as the differences between tennis matches played in February and those played this summer. 

In that vein, I received an email from a parent of a participant in an upcoming USTA Midwest section Boys 18s Level 2 event in Chicago, notifying applicants that, due to the city's travel ban, anyone who had recently traveled to selected states(listed below, none in the section itself) would have to be removed from the event.
Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.
 If you have traveled to any of those states recently and have not quarantined for two weeks, please let us know by the end of the business day today (Friday July 24) so we do not select you into the event.
Getting that information out and relying on players to abide by that request is, of course, problematic, but it illustrates just how difficult holding a national event at this time would be.

A day after announcing that its Junior Circuit events would resume beginning August 31st, the ITF acknowledged that the ITF World Junior Finals would not be held in Chengdu China this fall. The tournament, a junior approximation of the ATP and WTA year-end finals, was scheduled for October 19-25th. With very little ITF junior tennis played this year, and two of the junior slams already canceled, attempting to identify which top 8 players should qualify would be nearly impossible. There has been no release on this, just the tweet below. I have also not seen any formal cancellation of the Junior Davis Cup and Junior Fed Cup, and nothing on the status of the French Open Junior Championships. The current ITF junior calendar has been updated since yesterday, and in addition to the Grade B1 in Nicholasville Kentucky in October, the Eddie Herr Grade 1 and Orange Bowl Grade A in November and December are now included on it.

The ITF had no choice but to cancel the World Junior Finals after the Chinese directive, and the ATP also released its anticipated statement, which followed the news yesterday that the extensive WTA China swing was off.

The ATP's China events include the Shanghai Masters, a 500 level event in Beijing and two 250s in Chengdu and Zhuhai. The ATP is promising a revised schedule for the remainder of 2020 in the next two weeks.