Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Summer Olympics postponed until 2021

   The 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed "to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021" because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee announced today.
   The Olympic tennis competition was scheduled for July 25-Aug. 2 at Ariake Tennis Park in Tokyo.
   This is the first time the Olympics have been postponed. They were canceled because of war in 1916, 1940 and 1944.
   The ATP, WTA and ITF last week announced the suspension of their tours until at least June 7.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

ATP, WTA suspend tournaments through June 7

   This spring's professional clay-court swing was wiped out today.
   The ATP and WTA extended the suspension of their tours through June 7 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Affected are combined ATP/WTA tournaments in Madrid and Rome, WTA events in Strasbourg and Rabat, and ATP events in Munich, Estoril, Geneva and Lyon.
   Also suspended through June 7 are ATP Challenger tournaments and the ITF World Tennis Tour.
   The French Tennis Federation announced Tuesday that Roland Garros will be moved from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4, one week after the U.S. Open.
   ATP and WTA rankings will be frozen indefinitely.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

French Open moved to one week after U.S. Open

Vasek Pospisil said moving the French Open to one week after the U.S. Open
"is madness." 2017 photo by Mal Taam
   The French Open today became the first Grand Slam tournament to be affected by the conoravirus pandemic.
   The French Tennis Federation announced that Roland Garros will move from May 24-June 7 to Sept. 20-Oct. 4.
   Federation president Bernard Giudicelli called it "a difficult yet brave decision in this unprecedented situation."
   The new dates put the clay-court French Open one week after the hard-court U.S. Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 13, and conflict with:
   –Several WTA and ATP tournaments in Asia and Europe.
   –The Laver Cup, Sept. 25-27 in Boston.
   –A combined men's and women's tournament in the Oracle Pro Series at Stanford (Sept. 21-27).
   –A men's Challenger in Tiburon, Calif. (Sept. 28-Oct. 4).
   "This is madness," tweeted Canadian pro Vasek Pospisil, a member of the ATP Player Council. "Major announcement by Roland Garros changing the dates to one week after the U.S. Open. No communication with the players or the ATP .. we have ZERO say in this sport. It's time. #UniteThePlayers"
   Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympic tennis event remain scheduled for June 29-July 12 and July 25-Aug. 2, respectively.
   "While we continue to plan for The Championships at this time," Richard Lewis, the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, commented on wimbledon.com, "it remains a continuously evolving situation and we will act responsibly, in the best interests of wider society."
   The International Olympic Committee said on olympic.org that it will "protect the health of everyone involved" and "continue to monitor the situation 24/7."

Monday, March 16, 2020

WTA suspends tour until at least May 2

   The WTA announced today that it has suspended the women's tour until at least May 2 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   The suspensions affect clay-court tournaments in Stuttgart, Istanbul and Prague.
   The WTA said in a news release that it will decide this week about the remaining European clay-court tournaments: Madrid (May 4-10), Rome (May 11-17), and Nuremberg and Strasbourg (May 18-24). The French Open is scheduled for May 24-June 7.
   Last week, the ATP suspended the men's tour for six weeks.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

ATP, WTA events suspended; Cal men's season canceled

   The Association of Tennis Professionals today suspended the men's tour for six weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Peter Wright, the men's tennis coach at the University of California, Berkeley, announced tonight that the remainder of the Bears' season and the NCAA Championships for all spring sports have been canceled.
   The ATP announcement came four days after the BNP Paribas Open, considered the "fifth Grand Slam," in Indian Wells, Calif., was abruptly called off.
   Today's decision affects tournaments in Houston, Marrakech, Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Budapest in addition to the Miami Open, a men's and women's tournament scheduled for March 23-April 5 that also was suspended.
   The WTA, meanwhile, canceled tournaments in Guadalajara, originally scheduled for next week, and tourneys in Bogota and Charleston, S.C., which had been set for the week of April 6.
   WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon said in a statement that decisions on the European clay-court season would be made in the next week.
   Also, the International Tennis Federation announced today that it is suspending play until April 20 at the earliest. Therefore, the Fed Cup Finals, originally scheduled for April 24-15 in Budapest and Fed Cup playoffs, which had been set for April 17-18 at eight locations around the world, were postponed indefinitely.
   As of now, Peter Bodo of espn.com reported, the next men's or women's tournament still scheduled is a WTA event on clay in Stuttgart, beginning April 20.
   The fates of the French Open (May 24-June 7) and Wimbledon (June 29-July 12) are uncertain.
   The prestigious Easter Bowl junior tournament, originally scheduled for March 28-April 5 in Indian Wells, was called off.

Monday, March 9, 2020

BNP Paribas Open called off because of coronavirus

Dominic Thiem hoists the trophy after defeating Roger Federer in last year's
BNP Paribas Open. Also shown are Ted Mertens (far left), then the mayor of
Indian Wells, Calif.; Jean-Yves Fillion (second from left), the CEO of BNP
Paribas USA; and tournament director Tommy Haas (behind Thiem). Photo
by Mal Taam 
   The BNP Paribas Open, considered the "fifth Grand Slam," was called off on Sunday night because of the coronavirus pandemic.
   Officials canceled or indefinitely postponed the tournament, scheduled for today through March 22 in Indian Wells, Calif., after a confirmed case of coronavirus led Riverside County to declare a public health emergency.
   "There is too great a risk, at this time, to the public health of the Riverside County area in holding a large gathering," said Dr. David Agus, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at USC. "It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak."
   Many elderly people, the most vulnerable group, live in the Palm Springs area, where the tournament is located, because of its warm winters.
   Tournament director Tommy Haas said he and his staff are exploring alternative dates this year.
   Patrons who have purchased tickets directly from the BNP Paribas Open may request a refund or a credit for the 2021 tournament at bnpparibasopen.com/coronavirus.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Stanford women's conference win streak ends at 38

   The Stanford women lost a Pacific-12 Conference match for the first time in almost exactly four years on Saturday.
   The No. 9 Cardinal fell to No. 3 UCLA 4-1 at Taube Family Tennis Stadium, snapping the Cardinal's conference winning streak at 38 matches.
   Stanford (10-2, 1-1), which has won the last two NCAA team titles and three of the last four, hadn't lost to a Pac-12 opponent in the regular season since a 4-3 decision at Arizona State on March 5, 2016.
   The Cardinal's Angelica Blake, a freshman from Boca Raton, Fla., tied the score against UCLA 1-1 with a 6-0, 6-4 victory over No. 17 Jada Hart on Court 3.
   No. 12 Michaela Gordon, a Stanford junior from Saratoga in the San Francisco Bay Area, led No. 9 Elysia Bolton 4-6, 6-2, 4-1 on Court 1 when the match was abandoned.
   Both of the Cardinal's losses this season have come against UCLA (12-1, 2-0), which has won five matches in a row. The Bruins routed Stanford 4-0 on Feb. 9 in the semifinals of the ITA National Team Indoor Championships in Chicago.
   Cal women – The No. 21 Bears defeated No. 37 USC 6-1 in Berkeley, Calif., on Saturday to improve to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the Pac-12. The Women of Troy fell to 7-6 and 0-2.
   No. 27 Angela Kulikov of USC outlasted No. 15 Haley Giavara, a freshman from San Diego, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 on Court 1 in the last match.
   College men – No. 7 seeds Ben Draper and Bjorn Hoffmann of Cal lost to brothers Tanner Smith and Colter Smith of Long Beach, Calif., 6-4, 6-7 (5) [13-11] today in the semifinals of the 131st Annual Pacific Coast Men's Doubles Championship in the San Diego suburb of La Jolla, Calif.
   Draper and Hoffman beat 10th-seeded Filip Kolasinski and Alexandre Rotsaert of Stanford 6-7 (5), 6-1, 6-1 in the fourth round on Friday.
   Kolasinski and Rotsaert ousted co-No. 1 seeds Keegan Smith and Johannes de Villiers (assistant coach) of UCLA in the third round.
   Co-No. 1 seeds Bradley Frye and Brandon Holt, the son of International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, beat the Smith brothers 6-4, 6-3 for the title.
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