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Toray Pan Pacific Open Cancelled for 2021

A man cycles past Ariake Tennis Park, the venue for Olympic tennis and Paralympic wheelchair tennis in Tokyo, Japan. EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHER JUE

Tennis will bounce into Tokyo for this month’s Olympic Games, but the 2021 Toray Pan Pacific Open, which has called Tokyo home has been cancelled.

Tournament officials say health and safety concerns and the nation’s Coronavirus safety protocol factored in the decision to cancel the 500-level tournament, which was scheduled for September.

The tournament announcement comes after WTA CEO Steve Simon announced the fall Asian swing in Japan and China was off the calendar.

“We are disappointed that our world-class events in China and Japan will not take place this year,” Simon said. “We are working on a parallel path to provide playing opportunities in other regions, one being our return to the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells as we look forward to this two-week event in October.”

It’s the second straight year Coronavirus closed the curtain on the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

“It is with great regret to announce that the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis Executive Committee (headquartered in Tokyo’s Minato ward and led by tournament director Yutaka Nakagawa), after much consultation with WTA, decided to cancel the Toray Pan Pacific Open Tennis 2021,” the tournament announced in an official statement. “The Executive Committee, together with WTA, looked at every possible way to make this international tournament happen, by implementing various measures to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) including the idea of restricting admissions, in order to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved including players, officials, ball boys and girls, stewards, sponsors and partners, suppliers and contractors, media, guests and all other staff.

“However, also in consideration of the border enforcement and quarantine measures for those traveling to Japan, the Executive Committee made a heartrending decision that it was best to cancel the tournament.”

Officials say they will focus on the future “on making 2022 tournament a great success.”

In the 2019 Toray Pan Pacific Open final staged in Osaka, top-seeded Naomi Osaka did not face a break point overpowering Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-2, 6-3, to take the title in the city of her birth.