Davis Cup, Fed Cup finals postponed until to 2021
Paris: The men's Davis Cup and women's Fed Cup tennis finals have both been rescheduled for next year due to complications posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the ITF announced Friday.
This year's Davis Cup finals in Madrid, the second instalment of a new-look competition, were due to run November 23-29 while the revamped Fed Cup had been postponed indefinitely after April's finals were called off.
"It's a huge disappointment for all of us that the Davis Cup Finals will not be held in 2020," said Barcelona football star Gerard Pique, whose Kosmos investment group finances the competition.
"We don't know how the situation will develop in each qualified nation, or if restrictions in Spain will remain sufficiently eased, as such it is impossible to predict the situation in November and guarantee the safety of those travelling to Madrid."
The rearranged finals will comprise the 18 teams which qualified for this year's edition. It will instead begin the week starting November 22, 2021.
"This is a tough decision to have to make, but delivering an international team event on this scale while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved ultimately poses too great a risk," said ITF president David Haggerty.
Spain has one of the worst affected countries by the pandemic, suffering more than 28,000 deaths, but started reopening its borders at the end of last week.
The announcement capped a bad week for tennis after world number one Novak Djokovic's exhibition tournament in the Balkans led to him and other top players Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki testing positive for COVID-19.
All professional tennis has been in cold storage since mid-March with Wimbledon cancelled for the first time since the World War II and Roland Garros moved back to September and October.
The US Open is going ahead as scheduled in New York from August 31, although the rash of positive tests at Djokovic's event has raised questions about the resumption of the season.
A number of Davis Cup qualifiers in March were played behind closed doors at the onset of the global health crisis. World Group I and II ties scheduled for September will be pushed back until next year.
The revised 12-team Fed Cup finals were initially due to take place on indoor clay in Budapest from April 14-19 but were shelved in response to the virus outbreak. They have been reprogrammed for April 13-18, 2021. - AFP