The lone North Carolina-based tennis tournament on the ATP Tour won’t be taking place this year.
The Winston-Salem Open announced Wednesday morning that this year’s tournament, which would have taken place Aug. 22-29 and marked the 10th anniversary of the event held at Wake Forest University, had been taken off the ATP schedule in an effort to try to safely hold this year’s U.S. Open. The Winston-Salem Open will return in August 2021.
“At the direction of the ATP, the Winston-Salem Open leadership developed several different scenarios for a 2020 tournament,” the tournament said in a press release. “However, it is the Governing Board of the ATP that has the ultimate responsibility and authority in the event of extraordinary circumstances to reschedule the calendar in the best interests of the Tour. While disappointed, the Winston-Salem Open believes this decision will enable professional tennis to return safely to its most important event in the United States, the US Open.”
The USTA, ATP and WTA, in an effort to hold the U.S. Open this summer amid the coronavirus pandemic, decided to move the Cincinnati-based Western & Southern Open to Flushing Meadows, New York — home of the United States’ Grand Slam tournament — the week before the U.S. Open, when the Winston-Salem Open was scheduled to be played.
The Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open would then be played on consecutive weeks in Flushing Meadows.
“We reviewed a range of models for having the Winston-Salem Open in August,” Winston-Salem Open tournament director Jeff Ryan said in the release. “But above all, we made our decision for the good of the sport of tennis.”
Ryan cited the funds generated by the U.S. Open that are used to run tennis programs throughout the country as a reason the tournament was willing to step aside for the good of the sport.
“While this is disappointing, we want our community and supporters to know that our decision has positively impacted the single most important tennis event in the U.S.,” Ryan said. “The US Open funds the grassroots tennis programs across the country. This decision has enabled it to take place.”