It’s official. The ATP Tour is set to return in Washington D.C. The organization that oversees professional men’s tennis issued a provisional, eight-week-long calendar that includes two Grand Slams, three Masters 1000, one ATP 500 and one ATP 250.
The revamped tour will return on Friday, August 14 with the Citi Open, over five months after its abrupt suspension amid the Covid-19 pandemic. After a brief stop at the United States capital, players will head north to New York. Seeking to minimize health risks, Flushing Meadows will host back-to-back the Cincinnati Masters 1000 and the US Open.
Coinciding with the second week of the US Open, Kitzbühel will kickstart the clay campaign. Participation in this Austrian event comes with a special clause: Top 10 players who elect to skip the US Open aren’t eligible to play.
September will resemble a typical month of May on a non-coronavirus year, as both Madrid and Rome are expected to be home to a couple of Masters 1000 leading up to the French Open.
As opposed to the much-criticized US Open, Roland Garros will feature a qualifying draw.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP chairman, appreciated the cooperation of the WTA, ITF, USTA and FFT upon fine-tuning this stretch of the calendar.
“Our objective has been to reschedule as many tournaments as possible and salvage as much of the season as we can,” Gaudenzi said. “It has been a truly collaborative effort and we hope to add more events to the calendar as the situation evolves. I would like to recognize our tournaments’ efforts to operate during these challenging times, as well as our players who will be competing under different conditions. At every turn, ensuring that the resumption of the Tour takes place in a safe environment will be paramount.”
Lower ranked players also have a date to be looking forward to, as both the Challenger and ITF World Tennis Tour will resume from the week of August 17.
There are still a few lingering enigmas though, as no update was given on rankings, which have been frozen since March 16. Likewise, the ATP schedule beyond Roland Garros is expected to be announced in mid-July.
Main Photo from Getty.