More tennis and golf events fall to pandemic spike

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26: Naomi Osaka of Japan reacts in her Women's Singles Final match against Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic during day 13 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Fred Lee/Getty Images)

Japan’s top women’s tennis tournament and Australia’s most prestigious golf event are the latest events to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

The Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, a WTA Tour premier tournament, has been cancelled for 2020, with Tokyo back on its highest Covid-19 alert level after a spike in new cases.

Organisers of the event said they were yet to decide on the schedule and venue for the 2021 tournament. Japan’s Naomi Osaka is the defending champion.

The cancellation comes less than a week after the WTA scrapped its seven planned tournaments in China this year, including its season ending finals in Shenzhen.

The cancellation leaves the Korea Open in Seoul as the only Asian event left on the WTA’s calendar for 2020.

Golf Australia, meanwhile, announced the Australian Open will not be played in 2020 due to Covid-19. The event was scheduled to take place at Melbourne’s Kingston Heath Golf Club in November this year but organisers are looking at alternative dates in early 2021.

Melbourne is now the epicentre of a strong second wave of Covid-19 infections in Australia, which has forced all sporting events out of the state of Victoria.

Football’s A-League moved its matches out of Melbourne and into a hub in New South Wales. And the National Rugby League has appealed for fans from Victoria not to travel to matches taking place in NSW and Queensland.

Victoria-based teams in the Supercars series also relocated initially to NSW and are now based in Queensland.