The Miami Open, one of the world’s most prestigious tennis tournaments, joined the long list of sporting events to be canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. The tournament, featuring nearly all of the sport’s top players, was scheduled to take place March 23-April 5 at Hard Rock Stadium.
More than 300,000 fans attend the tournament annually. Last year, the 12-day attendance was 388,734.
“Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez has declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County and made the decision to suspend operations of the Miami Open due to the ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus). Therefore, the 2020 Miami Open will not take place,” said a statement released by the tournament organizers.
“We understand and support the Mayor’s decision as the health and safety of the community and everyone involved with the event remains our top priority. Our team will be in touch in the coming days with ticket holders regarding refunds. We thank our fans, players, staff and partners for their support, and look forward to welcoming everyone back to Hard Rock Stadium for next year’s Miami Open, March 23 – April 4, 2021.”
Miami Open tournament director James Blake added:
“We were looking forward to hosting another world-class event, but our priority remains the health and safety of everyone involved in the Miami Open, including the South Florida community. As a former player and now tournament director, I understand how disappointing it is for the players, fans, partners and tournament staff who worked tirelessly to get the site ready. We thank everyone for their understanding and support and look forward to returning to Hard Rock Stadium March 22 – April 4, 2021.”
Shortly after the Miami Open cancellation, the ATP men’s tour announced it was suspending play for six weeks, wiping out several tournaments that lead up to the French Open, which is scheduled to start May 24 in Paris. There is not word on the status of the French Open. The Women’s Tennis Association canceled the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, which was to follow the Miami Open.
A WTA statement read: “There isn’t anything more important than protecting the health of our players, staff, volunteers and fans who attend our events, along with the general public. We are disappointed, but the decision has been made in the interest of public health and safety. The WTA, working alongside our player and tournament leaders, will make a decision in the week ahead regarding the European clay court season.”
The 2020 Miami Open would have featured nearly all of the world’s top 96 male and female players, except Roger Federer, who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery. The Miami Open was the second major tennis tournament to be canceled in the past week. The BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, was called off five days ago.
Rafael Nadal posted on Twitter: “So sad for all that is happening around the world with this situation. Hopefully soon [there will be] solutions from the authorities. Stay all well and safe.”
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