This morning the ATP announced that the China Swing, which usually takes place in September and October, has been cancelled. This is due to the Chinese government issuing a directive cancelling all international sporting events in the country until 2021 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in the country late last year and has since spread across the globe.
The ATP had four tournaments scheduled to take place in China. The most high profile casualty is the Shanghai Masters, which is the only Masters 1000 series held in Asia, but the China Open, an ATP 500 event held in Beijing at the National Tennis Center, and two ATP 250 events, the Chengdu Open and the Zhuhai Championship, have also been cancelled.
Andrea Gaudenzi, the ATP Chairman, stated that the ATP’s approach “throughout this pandemic has been to always follow local guidance when staging events. We respect the Chinese government’s decision to do what’s best for the country in response to the unprecedented global situation. “It’s with a heavy heart that we announce ATP tournaments will not be played in China this year.”
“These important events have been a cornerstone of the Tour’s presence in Asia and I want to thank the organizers for their commitment and cooperation,” he continued. “Chinese fans are some of the most passionate in the world and I know players will be looking forward to the next opportunity to play in front of them.”
The loss of the China Swing puts a fresh dent in the ATP’s calendar. It follows the cancellation of Washington D.C.’s Citi Open earlier this week due to concerns regarding the continuing surge of the coronavirus in the United States as well as the resulting restrictions on international travel. However, the ATP are continuing to work on a revised calendar for what remains of the 2019 season.
Currently, the Cincinnati Masters remains on the slate, albeit having been moved to New York’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, as does the US Open, to be held at the same location. Thereafter, it is proposed that an abridged European clay-court swing, culminating in the French Open, will be held. The ATP is also still expecting to stage the season-ending championships in London in November.
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