I was not the only one who was full of joy when ATP and WTA announced the schedule for the rest of the season. Now I am not the only one who knows that nothing is guaranteed.
The situation with the spread of the “COVID-19” virus is still tricky. No local organizer of any sports event can be sure that local authorities would not cancel his tournament.
The latest decision coming from organizers of Citi Open in Washington, D.C., puts the restart of the ATP season in a shadow. Men’s tour should start in Washington, but now we can just guess if the situation in New York is different from the situation in Washington.
ATP did not reveal the schedule after the French Open. And with the latest China decision to cancel all international sports events for the rest of the year, it looks smart from ATP.
WTA was very bold with announcing a full schedule for the rest of 2020. However, the Asia series of tournaments do not look very probable now. Unfortunately, that also includes the WTA Finals.
Update 07-23-2020: WTA canceled all 7 tournaments (Beijing, Wuhan, Nanchang, Zhengzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Guangzhou) planned in China. Unfortunately, that includes also WTA Finals. We will see if the autumn series will be replaced with other tournaments (possibly in Europe).
What is certain?
I try to be optimistic and believe that tournaments with safety restrictions and a limited number of fans in stadiums can be organized. At least in Europe, we saw a lot of good exhibition tournaments in the last two months (Prague, Kitzbuhel, Berlin). Such a high standard of an organization can be applied everywhere, and local health authorities can approve it.
That leads me to the opinion that at least European tournaments will go ahead as planned. WTA tournaments in Palermo and Prague with a stuffed entry list of top-class players should be played.
I am not so sure about the U.S. Open and Southern&Western Open in New York. That seems as 50/50 now. And farther in the calendar, we are moving, the more significant uncertainties arise. Nobody knows what autumn will bring on regarding the virus. We can just hope for the better and September clay series in Europe to happen.
And then everything is open. Maybe we will finish the tour just in Europe or the rest of the season will be canceled.