The 2020 Citi Open has been cancelled due to concerns about how players could travel to the tournament amid the current Coronavirus pandemic, with the news undoubtedly putting the US Open’s decision to go ahead under further scrutiny.
The tournament is typically an event for both the ATP and WTA, with Nick Kyrgios and Jessica Pegula winning the singles titles last summer. The WTA event had already been dropped due to safety concerns with the men’s event now also cancelled. Kyrgios, a vocal critic of the decision to hold the US Open, had not entered the tournament.
The likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, and Kei Nishikori were meant to be in action in Washington this summer as the ATP Tour aimed to restart after being suspended since early March. However, tournament director Mark Ein pointed to “various international travel restrictions” in terms of making the event unplayable this summer.
Currently a two-week quarantine period is in place for people both arriving in and leaving from America, meaning logistically it will be very tricky for several players to play at both the US Open and in the rescheduled clay court season in September. Though the Williams Sisters and Bianca Andreescu have committed to playing at the US Open, the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Ashleigh Barty, and Petra Kvitova have all expressed doubts about heading to New York. The USTA maintains it will go ahead with the tournament, despite the Citi Open’s announcement.
The ATP Tour is now set to start the week following the cancelled tournament in Washington at the Western and Southern Open. Traditionally held in Cincinnati, the tournament will take place at Flushing Meadows in an attempt to create a ‘bubble’ for competitors. It is unknown as to how well such a bubble may succeed, with Danielle Collins recently dropped from World Team Tennis for breaking the bubble at the tournament’s site in West Virginia.
In contrast the WTA is set to restart three weeks earlier on the clay courts of Palermo, with events in Prague on clay and Lexington on hard courts taking place the following week.