ATP Basel postpones Golden Jubilee to 2021; USTA cancels nationals

ATP Basel postpones Golden Jubilee to 2021; USTA cancels nationals

The Swiss Indoors Basel, due to celebrate its 50th anniversary on the ATP tour later this year, joined Tokyo in pulling the plug early as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

The Swiss Indoors Basel has crowned some of the ATP’s greatest champions: from Bjorn Borg to Pete Sampras to, of course, former ball boy turned all-time event title leader Roger Federer.

The historic tournament was due to celebrate its 50th anniversary later this year. Instead, its Golden Jubilee will have to wait until 2021, as organizers have already decided not to stage the indoor event with COVID-19 not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon.

“Unfortunately, coronavirus won’t spare any of us,” said tournament president Roger Brennwald. “And social distancing or matches played behind closed doors were out of the question for us from the start.”

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Basel follows in the footsteps of Tokyo, a fellow ATP 500 tournament, in pulling the plug early. In June, Federer, who lifted his 10th Basel crown last October and currently holds a 24-match win streak at the event, confirmed he would not play again in 2020 after undergoing his second left knee procedure of the year. The ATP is yet to announce its revised calendar beyond the rescheduled French Open, and is due to resume tour-level operations on August 14 with the Citi Open in Washington D.C.

The USTA also announced further cancellations to the five ITF World Tennis Tour events previously aborted, calling off its national championships in August. Among the lineup scrapped include the Boys’ and Girls’ 18s tournaments, which have traditionally rewarded winners with wild cards into the main draw of the US Open, and finalists the opportunity to compete in qualifying.

“As these events were larger in scale and size, there was an inherent risk associated with hosting large numbers of individuals at one site, at one time, and would make risk mitigation difficult,” a statement read.

The US Open is slated to begin August 31 as part of a Flushing Meadows doubleheader with the Western & Southern Open, relocated from Mason, Ohio. Several players have expressed doubts about traveling to the U.S., with Kiki Bertens joining Top 10 WTA players Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina in saying no for now. With both tours implementing a revised ranking structure that permits players to retain their best 2019 or 2020 result at events such as the US Open, it’s plausible why a competitor such as Svitolina—a semifinalist in New York last year—would opt to stay in Europe for the clay-court swing.

Halep previously confirmed her participation in Palermo, an International-level event expected to reopen the WTA tour on August 3.

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