The return of tennis to the official competition has suffered another setback. He Washington tournament, which was going to kick off the return of the season, has been canceled.
Just a few days after its director, Mark Ein, assured that they were aware of the responsibility they were going to have for being the first post-pandemic tournament, it has been announced that it will not be played, raising doubts about the rest of the season American cement and the rest of the year.
“There are many unsolved external issues, including international travel restrictions, as well as the safety and health circumstances that exist. This has forced us to make this decision for the good of the players, the employees and our partners, so that they can have certainty about the planning, “Ein said in a statement. “Health and safety must continue to be the number one priority,” added the manager.
Washington was the setting in which tennis was to return on August 14, but This new setback calls into question the viability of the North American tour, who would later travel to New York to play the Cincinnati tournaments (August 22) and the United States Open (August 31).
Right now, The United States adds almost four million infected with coronavirus and more than 140,000 deceased. New York, the state where the Cincinnati Masters 1,000 and the US Open will be played, is the region hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than 400,000 cases and 30,000 deaths.
The situation in the country, together with the reluctance of some tennis players to give the go-ahead to the plans of the ATP and the USTA (American Tennis Federation), puts Cincinnati and the US Open in check, whose celebration seems more and more diffuse every day, although the New York Grand Slam reaffirms its intention to get ahead.
“We will create a safe and controlled environment for tournament players and employees that minimizes health risks. These measures have been approved by the State of New York and are adapted to the standards of the city and the Federal Government, ”the US Open explained in a statement.
Both championships would be held behind closed doors, with players in a ‘bubble’ similar to the one that the NBA has mounted for the end of the championship. However, there is still no regulation that regulates whether tennis players (and athletes in general) traveling to the United States will have to quarantine or not, both upon arrival and upon returning to Europe. There could be an exception similar to the one the United Kingdom was going to impose so that Real Madrid could travel to Manchester to play the Champions League, but the protocol regarding tennis remains unclear.
Suspicion among tennis players
After this American mini-tour, tennis will fly to Europe, where tournaments are scheduled for Kitzbühel (September 8th), Madrid (September 13th), Roma (September 20) and Roland Garros (September 27th).
Meanwhile, the great tennis players have not yet made a clear statement regarding their participation in the New York Grand Slam. Rafa Nadal continues training in Manacor, where he has raised suspicions that he will resign to defend his title in New York, having practiced these days on clay. In his favor he plays that he will not lose this year the points that credit him as winner of the tournament in 2019, since the ATP has modified the classification so that these points do not disappear until 2021.
For his part, Novak Djokovic does seem confident that he can travel to the United States and cut the Grand Slams gap with Nadal and Roger Federer. The Serbian, once he has left behind the scandal of his exhibitions and his positive in coronavirus, has spent days training on cement.