Monday, July 13, 2020

USTA National Hard Courts Canceled; Listen for My Interview with Radiotennis.com Tuesday Afternoon

Although the official USTA press release isn't expected until Tuesday, word of the cancellation of the 18s and 16s National Championships in August began leaking out this afternoon, and now all four of the TennisLink sites have posted this one-sentence announcement: 

Tournament Status Update - July 13

The USTA National Championships have been cancelled due to the concern of the COVID-19 virus.

This is no surprise, of course, particularly after last week's announcement that the USTA was pulling the plug on the August ITF events scheduled in the United States and Friday's announcement that the Southern California section was canceling its sectional. The situation in the United States has deteriorated over the past month, particularly in Southern California, site of the Girls 18s; Georgia, site of the Girls 16s; Alabama, site of the Boys 16s; and Florida, site of the Boys 18s. (The 14s and 12s were canceled last month). There is danger in bringing to these places players and parents from around the country, many whom would return to their home states after more exposure than they would have had had they stayed home. As much as we would all love to see tennis resume, it simply isn't important enough to take that kind of risk.

I was hoping to cover the Girls 18s in San Diego this year, but rather than looking forward to it, I was dreading the flight, the hotel and the undeniable fact that interacting with anyone at the tournament would be difficult. With no college coaches in attendance, a lot of the buzz would be lost, and although I am sad that no American junior will have an opportunity to earn a place in the US Open, I completely understand the reasoning behind the decision.

This is the first year in USTA Boys 18s and 16s Nationals history, which extends back to 1916, that the tournament will not be held. (The Boys 16s division was for players 15-and-under prior to 1963).

Below is an email the USTA sent out today, which is what started all the social media posts:

Ken Thomas of Radiotennis.com has arrived in Michigan, and after completing his series of Pandemic Interviews last month in Southern California, he started a new string today with Becky Hall, the athletic director of Kalamazoo College. My turn comes on Tuesday, so tune in at 4 p.m. Eastern, 1 p.m. Pacific for our conversation on what's going on in college and junior tennis. Ken will be conducting interviews daily, many with college coaches in the area, throughout the next three weeks.


T Wolfe said...

Who says you can’t go home... Welcome back to Kzoo. Ken Thomas!

Nostradamus said...

No announcement yet...but I sense the US Open will be cancelled this year...due to the CoronaVirus.

Jon King said...

The US Open won't be cancelled. New York was hit hard and early but now has an amazing system in place to deal with the virus. Despite their dense population, NYC has few cases per day. New York is probably one of the best places on earth to hold a bubble sporting event right now. They have top notch testing and contact tracing so any player or staff that is positive will be quickly identified and taken care of.