Both of tennis’ international team events, the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, have announced that they are to push their finals events back to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The women’s Fed Cup had initially planned its finals for back in April but, with host city Budapest still under lockdown conditions at the time, the International Tennis Federation postponed the event. It has now confirmed that the Fed Cup finals will take place a year later than intended, between April 13 and 18, 2021, with the 12 teams who qualified for the 2020 event retaining their places.
The Davis Cup, meanwhile, had planned to host qualification matches for future finals in September, before the 2020 finals in Madrid at the end of November.
Those preliminary fixtures have now been moved to March and September of next year, with a finals event to commence on November 22, 2021. As with the Fed Cup, the 18 nations that had already reserved their places at the 2020 finals will keep their spots for 2021.
David Haggerty, the ITF president, said: “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. It is a complex undertaking and we have made the decision now to provide certainty for players, National Associations and fans.”
All international tennis has been suspended since April, with only a few exhibition events able to take place. The recent Novak Djokovic-organised Adria Cup was abandoned after several competitors, including Djokovic himself, were diagnosed with Covid-19 and has come in for widespread criticism.
While some tennis is expected to return behind closed doors starting in August – the US Open will go ahead on its planned dates without spectators – the ITF said that hosting the Fed Cup without fans was “not considered a desirable opinion, given the unique atmosphere created by national supporters”.