The United States Tennis Association is determined to go ahead with its plans for a doubleheader at the National Tennis Center beginning next month. This in the wake of the cancellation on Tuesday of the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. because of the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ATP event, part of the U.S. Open Series and scheduled to begin Aug. 14, was to be the resumption of the men’s tour after the sport’s five-month quarantine. A companion event for women had been planned.
Mark Ein, the venture capitalist and Washington Kastles owner whose company manages the Citi Open, cited the many uncertainties.
“There are too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions, as well as troubling health and safety trends, that have forced us to make this decision now in fairness to our players, suppliers and partners, so that they can have certainty around their planning,” Ein said in a statement.
Soon after, the USTA issued a statement asserting its intention to host the Western & Southern Open, an ATP-WTA tournament it owns that it moved from Cincinnati, followed by the U.S. Open. The W&S is scheduled to begin Aug. 20, the U.S. Open on Aug. 31, both to be held without spectators.
“This decision in no way impacts the U.S. Open or the Western & Southern Open,” the USTA said. “The USTA will create a safe and controlled environment for players and everyone else involved in both tournaments that mitigates health risks that was approved by the State of New York and also conforms to the standards put forth by New York City and the federal government. We constantly base our decisions regarding hosting these tournaments on our three guiding principles that include safety and health of all involved, whether hosting these events are in the best interest in the sport of tennis and whether this decision is financially viable. We are confident we remain in-line with all three guiding principles.”