ATP revises the 2020 tennis program; The Italian Open progresses by a week
The ATP on Friday released a revised provisional schedule for the remainder of 2020, highlighted by the change in Italian Open dates to replace the canceled Madrid Open.
The game in Rome will now start a week earlier than scheduled, on September 14, the day after the US Open men’s final. The early departure will also affect the WTA, for whom the Italian Open is a valuable Premier 5 event.
Other changes included the tournament’s elevation in St. Petersburg, Russia from a third-tier ATP 250 to an ATP 500, and the cancellation of the ATP Next Gen ATP experimental finals.
“Tennis is starting to find its way back and while our primary concern is the health and safety of everyone involved, we hope that we can keep these playing opportunities and end the season strong,” ATP said. president Andrea Gaudenzi in a press release.
The ATP has released further updates to the 2020 Tour schedule, setting a tentative schedule for the remainder of the regular season 👇
– ATP Tour (@atptour) August 14, 2020
The revised provisional ATP calendar includes 13 events. The tour, as well as the WTA, have been hit hard by the cancellation of the entire post-US Open Asian swing, which is the usual prelude to fall events in Europe.
In addition, it has been announced that the ATP Finals, scheduled for November 15-22 in London, will currently take place without fans. The ATP however provided for the possibility of modifying this decision at a later date.
“I would like to commend the tournaments for their continued commitment, flexibility and ingenuity in finding solutions to function in these difficult circumstances,” said Gaudenzi.
He also stipulated that the tennis schedule was subject to change due to potential safety concerns triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, and that ATP could impose single-season sanctions on other unseen events.
Madrid and Rome are top-notch, top-tier ATP 1000 events that have been staple fixtures on the ATP and WTA spring calendars for many years, helping to prepare players for Roland Garros, the second Grand Slam of the year.
Roland Garros officials acted quickly and unilaterally in response to the pandemic in the spring, moving the start of their tournament from late May to mid-September. The tournament has been pushed back even further, to its current start date of September 27, as the pandemic forced further changes to the schedule.
The Italian Open replaced the canceled Madrid event as a major focus of the French Open. Due to the new start date, even those who are successful in Rome will have a few extra days to prepare for the start of Roland Garros. Rome will also present a final on Monday. Further details, including the size of qualifying and main draws, have yet to be announced.