The ATP and WTA Tours canceled or postponed all tennis events for the next three months, including the Wimbledon Championships and the rest of the grass-court circuit. Many questions have arisen on the subject of how the 2020 season will be played out. ATP Tour CEO, Andrea Gaudenzi, has posed multiple options for how the season will end.
“We are working on the possibility of a four-week clay swing following the US Open,” the CEO told Italian journalists (translated to English by Ubitennis).
“The best-case scenario would be to have the North American swing, then the clay, then Asia, and then the ATP Finals. If that were to happen, it would mean that we rescued 80 percent of the season, other than canceling the grass events.”
What this means is that the North American swing, headed by Masters 1000 Cincinnati (W&S Open) and the Rogers Cup, as well as the US Open, will aim to be played on schedule in August and September. It has yet to be confirmed whether or not fans will be allowed in attendance for the two-week event.
“We are still talking about 2,000-3,000 people moving from one place to another, and that would make it difficult to guarantee safety for everybody,” Gaudenzi said.
Following that will be a shortened clay-court circuit, likely ended by Roland Garros (which is set for a September 20th start date). It hasn’t been confirmed what the events will be, but speculation can be drawn from what Gaudenzi has discussed as of now.
“With seven Masters 1000s and three Slams, there wouldn’t be much room for complaints,” he told Italian journalists.
With that, it’s likely that Masters 1000 Monte Carlo and Rome will be played, considering that Madrid has shifted to a virtual tournament for 2020. Following that would be slated to be the Asian Tour swing. Gaudenzi wasn’t clear on what tournaments he aimed to schedule in 2020, but once again, it’s speculated that the circuit’s biggest tournaments, the Shanghai Masters 1000, as well as a few 500 events, will likely be leading the way.
“We have to try to play as many tournaments as we can in the weeks we have, to keep ranking points and prize money, and most of all, entertain the spectators,” he said. “The longer it takes to solve the situation, the worst our condition becomes. As for the idea of hosting a lot of tournaments over a span of a few weeks, we are considering every option in order to help everybody.”
The Nitto ATP Finals are still being looked to take place around the same time (3rd week of November), so this would pose many questions on whether or not the season might need to bleed into the off-season if the Tour wants to hold as many events as possible.
Predicted ATP Tour Schedule:
- August – September: North American Circuit (Hard-Court)
- Mid-September – October: 4-week clay circuit
- October – Mid-November: Asian Circuit (Hard Court)
- End of November: ATP Finals
As the situation progresses, stay updated on the Lob and Smash website for daily news and stories.