US-Europe Travel concerns force Citi Open to abort 2020 edition



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US-Europe Travel concerns force Citi Open to abort 2020 edition

Staged at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, the Citi Open in Washington began in 1969 on Arthur Ashe's initiative, joining the Open era a year later and staying in the calendar ever since. It would always gather a strong field of players, gaining the status of one of the most important events in the United States.

Until 1986, the surface was green Har-Tru clay before the tournament switched to hard courts to follow the other significant events during North American swing. Ken Rosewall, Tony Roche, Arthur Ashe, Guillermo Vilas, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Michael Chang, Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, Juan Martin del Potro, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori have all won the title here in the past, with Agassi standing as the most prominent star with five crowns in the capital between 1990-1999.

This year's edition should have been the first tournament after the coronavirus outbreak.

Still, the organizers have decided to cancel it, with uncertainties grown around the traveling and safety measures affecting the ability to meet the planning deadline.

Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas would have been the top seeds in Washington, ahead of David Goffin, Roberto Bautista Agut, Diego Schwartzman, Karen Khachanov, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and others. At the moment, Cincinnati and the US Open (both set at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center) are still ready to host the players, although we have to wait for the official news in the upcoming days.

"It's disappointing that due to these unprecedented times, the Citi Open will not be able to go ahead this year," said Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman. "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 that are outside of our control. We look forward to the Citi Open returning as one of our signature American events in 2021." "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," said Mark Ein, Chairman, Citi Open.

"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."