Rogers Cup : Tennis suffers new blow with big WTA tournament cancelled

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The hard-hit WTA Tour suffered a fresh setback with the loss of a major hardcourt tournament in Canada.

The WTA Rogers Cup was cancelled for 2020 on Saturday – a reality check amid suggestions that tennis might return to normal before long.

A major event on the women’s tour in the run-up to the US Open, the Rogers Cup was held in Toronto in 2019 but was due to switch to Montreal this year.

It had been scheduled to run from August 7-16. The men’s Rogers Cup, played in Montreal in 2019, moves to Toronto this year and is still due to go ahead on the dates it shared with the WTA event.

Rogers Cup's stadium in Montreal

The Rogers Cup Montreal tournament became an inevitable casualty when the Quebec government declared on Friday that public sports, cultural events and festivals should not go ahead before August 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Montreal is the biggest city in the province of Quebec.

WTA Rogers Cup will stay in Montreal in 2021

Before the cancellation was declared, Stats Perform was told tournament organisers hoped to reschedule for later in the year. It is understood talks to that end were held between Tennis Canada and the WTA, which runs the women’s tour.

However, a solution could not be found, and a WTA spokesperson said: “As a result of the measures imposed by the Quebec government prohibiting holding events until August 31, 2020, the Coupe Rogers in Montreal will postpone their event to 2021.

“The WTA reiterates that health and safety will always be the top priority. We understand this was a difficult decision and we look forward to being back in Montreal in 2021.”

The announcement means the usual rotation of the ATP and WTA events between Toronto and Montreal will be stalled temporarily, with Montreal keeping the women’s event it could not hold this year. It will go ahead from August 6 to 15 in 2021.

All tennis on the WTA and ATP tours has been postponed until mid-July, forcing the cancellation of Wimbledon and the postponement of the French Open, which is now due to start in September.

Canadian Bianca Andreescu is the defending WTA Rogers Cup champion, having taken the title when Serena Williams retired after just four games of the 2019 final.

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