Tennis: ATP and WTA Tours announce August resumption

The men's Tour will resume on Aug 14 with the Citi Open and ATP 500 event in Washington, DC. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - The men's ATP Tour and women's WTA Tour on Wednesday (June 17) issued revised calendars for the resumption of professional tennis after the shutdown caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The men's Tour will resume on Aug 14 with the Citi Open, ATP 500 event in Washington, DC, while the first WTA event will be staged in Palermo, Italy from Aug 3.

Tennis, apart from some exhibition events, ground to a halt in mid-March, with Wimbledon being cancelled altogether and the French Open being moved to September.

Announcing the new provisional schedule, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said the objective had been to salvage as much of the season as possible.

"It has been a truly collaborative effort and we hope to add more events to the calendar as the situation evolves," he said.

"I would like to recognise our tournaments' efforts to operate during these challenging times, as well as our players who will be competing under different conditions.

"At every turn, ensuring that the resumption of the Tour takes place in a safe environment will be paramount." Following the Citi Open, the Cincinnati Masters 1000 will be held at Flushing Meadows, followed by the US Open.

The claycourt swing will start on Sept 8 in Kitzbuhel, Austria and will overlap with the second week of the US Open.

There will then be the Madrid Open and the Italian Open in Rome before Roland Garros.

The WTA's revised calendar includes 20 tournaments, beginning in Palermo, then moving to the Cincinnati tournament being staged in New York, before the US Open.

Following the US Open, the WTA Tour will continue to Europe with several clay events, including the Madrid Open leading into Roland Garros which concludes on Oct 11.

For the foreseeable future all tournaments will be held without spectators.

"For now, the vital energy of spectators in stadiums will be greatly missed, but our broadcast and social media partners are exploring new ways to engage with our fantastic fans," WTA chairman Steve Simon said.

"It is our sincere hope and desire that we will be able to return to play this summer."

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