Last month the organizers of the Citi Open announced: “The current plan is for the Citi Open to host this year’s tournament without fans in attendance, but officials remain optimistic that as the region continues its phased reopening, and conditions improve, they may be granted permission to allow limited fans onsite.”
Alas a new release today says:
“After months of tireless work by our team and close collaboration with our many stakeholders, we are heartbroken to announce that we must, unfortunately, postpone the 52nd Citi Open until the summer of 2021.
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.
We are very disappointed that we could not provide players this competitive opportunity and tennis fans around the world their first chance to once again experience the thrills of watching an ATP Tournament. Sports play a very important role in uniting our communities, inspiring our youth, stimulating our economies, and providing joy to fans around the world, but these days, health and safety need to remain the number one priority.
We want to express our deepest gratitude for the support of all of our stakeholders who stood with us throughout this unprecedented planning process, in particular the players, ATP and WTA Tours, USTA, Mayor Muriel Bowser and her team across the Washington, DC Government, National Park Service, WTEF and our partners from Citi, MedStar Health, GEICO, Events DC, Insperity and Tennis Channel.
We look forward to hosting another memorable Citi Open, an American Summer Tennis Tradition, in August 2021, in front of the enthusiastic, sold-out crowds that our incredible tennis community has generated for over 50 years.
Statement from ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi:
“It’s disappointing that due to these unprecedented times, the Citi Open will not be able to go ahead this year,” said Gaudenzi. “I know how hard Mark Ein and his team have worked to adapt to new and continually changing conditions and would like to recognize their outstanding commitment to staging the event. Unfortunately for the moment, there are still large factors at play, which are outside of our control. We look forward to the Citi Open returning as one of our signature American events in 2021.”
The ATP continues to work on the revised 2020 calendar with a further update expected towards the end of July on a provisional schedule of events, including the final section of the calendar through to the Nitto ATP Finals in November.
Statement from USTA
Though unfortunate, the USTA understands the rationale for canceling the Citi Open at this time. We want to commend Mark Ein and his entire team for their tenacity, driven by their passion for the sport, but respect the tournament’s ultimate decision. We also want to thank the many supporters of the tournament, from the fans to its many partners, and know that Mark and his team will be ready to host them in 2021.
This decision in no way impacts the US Open or the Western & Southern Open. The USTA will create a safe and controlled environment for players and everyone else involved in both tournaments that mitigates health risks that was approved by the State of New York and also conforms to the standards put forth by New York City and the federal government. We constantly base our decisions regarding hosting these tournaments on our three guiding principles that include safe and healthy of all involved, whether hosting these events are in the best interest in the sport of tennis and whether this decision is financially viable. We are confident we remain in-line with all three guiding principles.”