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Tennis Schedule Takes Another Hit With Upcoming Cancellation Of Olympics

By Ricky Dimon

The 2020 tennis calendar was already postponed through the end of the clay-court swing in June. Now, an event that ends in August has already been scrapped.

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound said during an interview with USA Today on Monday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled. There has been widespread belief that the Summer Games would be cancelled ever since the coronavirus crisis began in February, but Pound was the first to offer IOC confirmation.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound assured, even though nothing was official as of Monday night. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24. That much I know.”

Rumor has it that the Olympics will be postponed until 2021 as opposed to being cancelled. Whatever the case, what is certain is that a normally busy tennis schedule is falling to pieces this year. Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami were the first to be called off, followed shortly thereafter by the entire clay-court swing–including the French Open, which is now controversially set for late September and early October.

Could the grass-court and hard-court summer still occur? Maybe.

Wimbledon and the grass-court events leading up to it are still hopeful of being held. The tennis portion of the Olympics would have begun later in July, concluding on Aug. 2. That coincides with the beginning of the U.S. Open Series at the BB&T Atlanta Open in addition to a clay-court tournament in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

If tennis is actually happening by then, will Atlanta and Kitzbuhel find themselves alone on the ATP schedule? Probably yes, but another option is for Indian Wells to rescheduled in place of the Olympics and unofficially kick off the U.S. Open Series in grand fashion. It could be reduced from a 96-man draw to 56, thus requiring only one week instead of two.

Sure, the desert heat would be unbearable at that time. But compared to coronavirus, heat is hardly a problem. It’s unlikely, but Indian Wells has not yet been officially cancelled for 2020 and this looks like the only potential solution.

At this point, any tennis this season would be a success. It could happen, but now we know it won’t happen at the Olympics.

“Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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