- 09 Apr 2020
1. Clay swing after the US Open
Andrea Gaudenzi is hoping for tennis to return after Wimbledon, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. If the American swing takes place this summer, with the US Open at the beginning of September, the Italian revealed that the ATP is working on a calendar with four weeks on clay. Two Masters 1000 would be held before or after Roland-Garros. The Parisian Grand Slam would be held on the scheduled dates, from September 20 to October 4, 2020. Gaudenzi also explained that the postponement of Roland-Garros was understandable and suggested that there would be no sanctions.
“Our operating principle is very simple: we have to try and play as many tournaments as we can in the weeks we’ll have at our disposal, in order to preserve the rankings and the prize money. We are working on the possibility of a four-weeks clay swing after the US Open. The best-case scenario would be to have the North American swing during the summer, then the clay. Ideally, we’d like to re-schedule two Masters 1000 on clay, either before or after the French Open.”
2. Asian swing maintained
In his interview, the ATP boss explained that he was still planning to go and play in Asia, where the coronavirus epidemic began. An Asian tour would then include the ATP 250 tournaments in Chengdu and Zhuhai, the two ATP 500 tournaments in Beijing and Tokyo, and the Masters 1000 in Shanghai. Andrea Gaudenzi also said that this would be done in collaboration with the WTA, which has a very important Asian tour.
3. Possibility to play in November and December
For Andrea Gaudenzi, the ideal schedule is to play the American tournaments this summer, the clay swing on September, the tournaments in Asia in October and then the Masters in London. But the ATP boss is aware that the current situation is very uncertain and that it is possible that the game wouldn’t be able to take place in September. If the US Open is cancelled, or postponed because Andrea Gaudenzi has revealed that the US Grand Slam has “a plan to postpone the tournament if the situation doesn’t improve,” then it will be impossible to have the schedule as planned. In this situation, the possibility of playing in November and December will have to be considered.
“Nobody knows when we’ll be able to resume play, so it makes no sense to talk about August or September. It’s all hypothetical. If the US Open gets cancelled, the complexity of the situation would grow exponentially, because we should consider playing in November and December too, but at the moment we are focusing on a re-start after the Wimbledon slot.”
4. The ATP Finals relocated?
The ATP Finals are planned to be held at London’s O2 Arena from 15-22 November 2020, the only dates available for the tournament. If there is no tennis in September, the ATP will have to consider finding another place, another country to host the eight best players in the world.
“For instance, the O2 Arena is available for the ATP Finals exclusively during that week (from 15th to 22nd November). We have a deal with London. If the US Open takes place, then there should be no problems. If not, then everything’s possible if we find someone to host us, but at the moment we don’t have an answer. Let’s not forget that there are fines to pay in order to move an event somewhere else.”