- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The 2020 Citi Open, the District’s annual tennis tournament which was briefly planned to be the return of ATP men’s tennis in August, was canceled Tuesday due to complications involving the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With only 23 days left until the start of the tournament, there are too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends, that have forced us to make this decision now in fairness to our players, suppliers and partners, so that they can have certainty around their planning,” tournament chairman and CEO Mark Ein said in a statement. 

The Citi Open was scheduled for Aug. 13-21 at Rock Creek Park Tennis Center. Usually an event for both ATP and WTA players, only an ATP tournament was planned when officials announced their plans last month.

At the time, Ein teased the possibility of drawing high-profile players due to the monthslong lack of ATP competition. But with many travel limitations in place that would affect top tennis players from around the world, it appeared to be out of tournament officials’ control.

The event would have served as a hard-court tune-up for the U.S. Open, which is still scheduled to be played in New York Aug. 31-Sept. 13 without fans present. Another hard-court tournament, the Western and Southern Open, will be played at Flushing Meadows the week before rather than its usual location near Cincinnati.

The Citi Open will return in 2021, Ein said.

“We are very disappointed that we could not provide players this competitive opportunity and tennis fans around the world their first chance to once agin experience the thrills of watching an ATP Tournament,” Ein said. “Sports play a very important role in uniting our communities, inspiring our youth, stimulating our economies and providing joy to fans around the world, and we look forward to bringing that back to the world next year.”

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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