The Bay Area isn’t the only place in California losing an ATP event. Organizers in Los Angeles sold their summer tournament to a group from Bogota, Colombia, late last year. That leaves the combined men’s and women’s tournament in Indian Wells as the only men’s tour event in the nation’s biggest state.
“I don’t think tennis in California is dead,” Lehr said. “It just has to change and evolve. It’s not to say that somewhere down the line we won’t come back into it in the right circumstances.”
It is part of a bigger trend that has seen the number of tournaments in the United States fall precipitously in recent years with the growth of the game internationally. In 1980, there were 36 ATP tournaments held in the United States. By next year, there will only be 11.
“It does bother me a little bit,” top-ranked American John Isner said. “For someone like me, it’s going to be a week that I probably won’t play because I don’t foresee myself going overseas in February unless it’s for a Davis Cup tie. For me and for other Americans, we’re very sad to see it go.”
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