Tennis is back: The most important points from tennis’ 2020 return plan

BELGRADE, SERBIA - JUNE 14: Novak Djokovic returns during his match against Alexander Zverev on June 14, during the 3rd day of Summer Adria Tour, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - JUNE 14: Novak Djokovic returns during his match against Alexander Zverev on June 14, during the 3rd day of Summer Adria Tour, 2020 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images) /

The return to tennis in 2020 is official, with both the ATP and WTA Tours releasing their revised schedules for the coming months. Here are the most important takeaways.

Tennis is back. The ATP and WTA have released their revised individual schedules for the 2020 season. Headlining the list is the US Open, which is scheduled to take place as normal from August 31st to September 13th.

The ATP is aiming to keep players in a bubble, especially during the beginning few weeks of the tour’s relaunch. It begins August 14th at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, before the Tour heads to New York for two tournaments. First up is the Western & Southern Open, which will look to combat extensive travel and will be held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.

Following that will be the US Open. As the Grand Slam winds down, the clay swing will begin September 8th with the Generali Open in Kitzbühel. The Masters 1000 Series’ in Madrid and Rome will succeed that on the 12th and the 20th before the clay season ends with Roland Garros in Paris on September 27th.

On the WTA side, they’ve implemented a more detailed schedule stretching into late November. They begin August 3rd with the Palermo Ladies Open before meeting up with the ATP for the New York-based hard-court tournaments (W&S and USO). The Istanbul Open begins September 7th and the Premier events in Madrid and Rome follow (starting Sept. 14). The WTA travels to Paris on September 28th before moving into the Asian tournament swing, beginning October 5th in Korea.

The women will then travel to Beijing, Wuhan, Nanchang, and Zhengzhou from October 12th to the beginning of November. They’ll then play Premier events in Moscow and Tokyo before playing the WTA Finals in Shenzhen (November 16th)  and the Elite Trophy event in Zhuhai (November 23rd).

Here are the most important takeaways from tennis’ schedule release:

1. Tennis is back (sort of)

Any sign of improvement in comparison to the current situation is something to applaud. Releasing the schedule confirms that the virus concerns for players have been eased in enough countries for them to resume the season and play events every week. Without fans, tennis can never truly be back, but as of now, it’s a start. After months of speculation of whether or not the season would return at all, tennis is back, for better or worse.

The big question is…

2. How will players respond? Will they play?

The biggest remaining question is how the players will react to the tours restarting. Specifically, in the case of the US swing in August, many players have expressed their concerns with playing events in the US given the virus being a major issue in the country now and in the foreseeable future.

Related Story. Get serious, tennis: US Open needs to be canceled for player safety. light

The US Open has come under heavy fire, with many players saying it isn’t safe to be traveling across the world until it’s truly safe in the US. For American players, they’ve shown their support for the event, given that the majority of them are lower-ranked and are in need of the prize money that comes from the major event. Some of tennis’ top players, like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, are leaning heavily to skip the event and focus their efforts on the European swing.

3. European, Asian swings are a big step in a full return with fans

It’s already been seen that tennis can be played in Europe, even with fans. Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour came with the full spectrum of backlash for not being cautious enough, but the fact that it followed the necessary government restrictions and was able to pack the stands, it’s certainly a good sign for tennis.

It’s possible that, by the end of 2020, tennis could make a full return and play the final two months of the season as normal, finishing with the ATP Finals in November. While the US events are under heavy scrutiny, they’re still set to be played.

Next. Five things we learned from the first leg of the Adria Tour. dark

Regardless of the questionable decisions in holding the events, having them cleared to be played is a step in the right direction.