Tennis

Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo the latest WTA event to be cancelled over safety concerns

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Singles champion Naomi Osaka of Japan poses for photographs with the trophy after the Singles final agains Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia during day seven of the Toray Pan Pacific Open at Utsubo Tennis Cent on September 22, 2019

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMichael Hincks
28/07/2020 at 08:01 | Updated 28/07/2020 at 10:17
@MichaelHincks

The Toray Pan Pacific Open is the latest casualty on the WTA calendar after organisers in Tokyo cancelled the Premier event scheduled to take place in November.

Both the WTA and ATP cancelled the remaining 2020 tournaments in China last week due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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The Pan Pacific Open has now followed suit in Japan, with the Hana-Cupid Japan Women's Open, as well as the ATP’s Rakuten Japan Open, also postponed.

"The Executive Committee looked at every possible way to make this tournament happen, including the idea of holding matches without audiences or restricting admissions in order to prioritize the health and safety of everyone involved," organizers said in a comment.

"However, after a series of deliberations, the Executive Committee made a heartrending decision to rule out the postponement, and concluded that the cancelation of the tournament was the best decision in the interest of public health, especially in light of the concern about the second wave of infection spreading in Japan.

“This is the first time that the tournament has been cancelled since it started in 1984. This is a disappointing result not only for tennis players from all over the world who play every year but also for domestic and international tennis fans, but we will do our best to hold and succeed in the main event in 2021.”

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Naomi Osaka won her fourth WTA title on home soil when winning last year’s tournament in Osaka.

Its cancellation makes it the 15th WTA event to be removed from the calendar post-French Open, which takes place from September 27 until October 11.

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