The Latest: Women's, men's tennis tours to resume in August

Jun 17, 2020

The women’s and men’s professional tennis tours have issued what they are calling “provisional” calendars that would resume sanctioned competition in August

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The women’s and men’s professional tennis tours have issued what they are calling “provisional” calendars that would resume sanctioned competition in August after being suspended since early March because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The WTA said its first event would be the Palermo Ladies Open in Italy the week of Aug. 3.

The ATP said its players would return to action at the Citi Open in Washington beginning Aug. 14, where women also will compete.

The next week will have the ATP-WTA tournament that is usually in Cincinnati but the U.S. Tennis Association is shifting to New York as a tuneup at the same site as the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31.

The tours will then shift to European red clay in September for tournaments in Madrid and Rome before the French Open’s main draw starts Sept. 27.

The WTA said it anticipates all of its upcoming tournaments will be held without spectators.

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The Minnesota Wild have decided to reduce hours for some employees and temporarily furlough others due to the revenue drop from the COVID-19 shutdown of the NHL.

The cuts will take effect on Saturday. The club did not specify how many employees would be affected.

Many other teams around the league have taken similar cost-cutting measures. NHL play was halted on March 12 due to the virus outbreak. The 24 teams that qualified for the revamped postseason are scheduled to start training camp on July 10.

The Wild were the first major Minnesota pro sports team to announce cutbacks.

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The Southern Heritage Classic has canceled the Sept. 12 college football game between Tennessee State and Jackson State because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Founder Fred Jones said Wednesday he knows this is a great disappointment to those who see the classic as a major highlight of the year but that health and safety is a top priority. Jones encouraged people to keep practicing safety and social distancing so the game can return as soon as possible.

This is the second cancellation in three years for the Southern Heritage Classic, which is played at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. The 2018 game was called due to poor weather.

Classic officials are offering refunds.

The Liberty Bowl is home to the Memphis Tigers. The university expects to have only season-ticket holders at the Liberty Bowl for home games this season, with no single-game ticket sales planned.

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Brazilian soccer will make its return on Thursday after a three-month suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The governing body of soccer in Rio de Janeiro says Flamengo and Bangu will play in an empty Maracanã Stadium in the local league.

Vasco da Gama will host Macaé at São Januário Stadium on Sunday.

More than 45,000 people have died with the virus in the South American country and health specialists say the peak of the crisis is yet to come.

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Russian soccer club FC Rostov says its entire team and staff will go into isolation for two weeks after six players gave anomalous results in testing for the coronavirus.

The Russian league plans to restart its soccer season on Friday but the test results mean Rostov will miss at least two games.

Rostov is in fourth place and fighting for a spot in next season’s Champions League. It was scheduled to play Sochi on Friday.

The club says the six players gave results which “deviated from the norm” in coronavirus testing. The entire team and another 42 club employees were considered to have been in close contact with them.

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Electronic line-calling will be used instead of line judges for U.S. Open matches at all courts except the two largest arenas.

There also will be three ball people instead of six at courts other than Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Those are among the changes announced by the U.S. Tennis Association as it outlined plans for running its 2020 Grand Slam tournament amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be no mixed doubles, juniors or wheelchair competition during the Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 U.S. Open. There also will not be any qualifying rounds. Men’s and women’s doubles will be reduced from 64 teams each to 32 and only players not in singles may enter.

In each of the 128-player fields for men’s and women’s singles there will be 120 players who get in via their ranking and eight who receive wild-card invitations.

Players will be allowed up to three guests and up to two rooms at a pair of designated hotels. One will be paid for by the USTA and one by the player. There also will be the option for players to rent a house outside of Manhattan.

The USTA has not decided exactly how many entourage members will be allowed on-site at Flushing Meadows during the U.S. Open or the tournament that is being moved from Cincinnati and also staged at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from Aug. 21-28.

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The French Open already was postponed from May to September because of the coronavirus pandemic and now is being pushed back an additional week.

The French Tennis Federation says its Grand Slam tournament’s main draw will be played at Roland Garros from Sept. 27 to Oct. 11.

That doubles the gap from the Sept. 13 end of the U.S. Open.

The French Open originally was moved from a May start to Sept. 20. Now its qualifying will begin Sept. 21 and finish on Sept. 25.

The federation says it is working with the French government to “set out suitable measures that will ensure the health and safety of all people present.”

The federation adds that “all options will be considered and are susceptible to change.”

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The Rogers Cup men’s tennis tournament in Canada won't be played in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tennis Canada announced Wednesday that the event’s start date will be pushed back until Aug. 7, 2021. The annual ATP Tour event, which rotates between Toronto and Montreal, was scheduled to be played Aug. 8-16 in Toronto.

With the Rogers Cup 2020 women’s tournament in Montreal shelved earlier this month and rescheduled for next year in the same city, the men’s event also will remain in Toronto in 2021. Founded in 1881 as the Canadian championships, the men’s tournament has been held every year except for 1905, 1915-18 (World War I) and 1941-45 (World War II).

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The Champions League will finish with a 12-day mini-tournament in Lisbon.

The tournament will restart in August after a five-month suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The UEFA executive committee says eight teams will play from the quarterfinals in knockout games at two venues.

The final will be held at the home stadium of Portuguese club Benfica on Sunday, Aug. 23.

The Europa League will also get an eight-team knockout tournament. It will be played in four stadiums in western Germany starting Aug. 10.

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Formula E will resume with six races in Berlin to finish its season.

Formula E says the races will take place from Aug. 5-13 at the disused Tempelhof Airport in a series of two-day double-headers. No other races are scheduled.

Each pair of races in Berlin will use a different track configuration to provide some variety. There will be no spectators, mandatory coronavirus testing and a maximum number of 1,000 people on site.

Formula E got through five races before the season was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and most recently raced on Feb. 29 in Morocco. Portuguese driver Antonio Felix da Costa leads the championship with 28 points.

Formula E was scheduled to have a 14-race season. Races in London, New York and Paris are among those which will not be held this year.

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