There is some good news for Bermuda professional tennis players who play on the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) World Tennis Tour, as they could be in action as early as August 3rd.
The announcement was made by the ITF in a press release, ITF-sanctioned tournaments have been suspended from March because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Action for the female professional players will resume on August 3rd, and the men will resume play on August 17th. Both genders will engage in qualifying, singles and doubles action.
The Bermuda male players include Tariq Simons, Trey Mallory and Daniel Phillips who is playing on the European circuit.
There has been no official word on the Davis and Fed Cup tournaments this year.
The rankings points are important to players as they help with players’ seeding at tournaments. The rankings system has been stagnant since March 16th. The ITF will continue to have discussions with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tours for the most appropriate and fair method to reintroduce the points system.
The calendar for the resumption of play has not been made official as yet, but the ITF is finalizing the calendar for August 3rd to September 27th. The schedule is expected to be on their website in short order.
ITF President David Haggerty said that restoring earning opportunities and health and safety has been their priority focus during the pandemic.
“This time of the COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for our sport, and while acknowledging that there will still be challenges ahead, we are pleased that international tour competition will be able to resume in August. Restoring earning opportunities for athletes at the earliest possible opportunity – in a manner which protects the health and safety of all involved – has been a priority throughout this period,” Haggerty said. “The sport has come together to support players financially during the pandemic and we will continue to work with our partners from across the tennis world – the tours, the grand slams and our 210-member national associations – as we aim to safely resume international competition.”
The release also said that the ITF wants to ensure the health and safety of the athletes involved, which could mean no spectators at events.