ATP and WTA jointly announced on Friday that the 2020 Kremlin Cup tournaments in Moscow have been canceled by a mandate from health officials in the Russian capital, where there has been a surge in coronavirus infections.
However, the ATP's St. Petersburg tournament -- a more prestigious event scheduled to start in Russia's second-largest city just one week before the Kremlin Cup -- remains on the schedule.
The ATP did not comment on the decision. The WTA said in a statement: "The WTA continues to monitor the situation closely and work with medical experts, as protecting the health and safety of our WTA community is of utmost importance. The Tour continues to remain vigilant in managing this challenging situation and playing as much tennis as it is safe to do so."
The Kremlin Cup events were scheduled for back-to-back weeks beginning with the men's event on the week of Oct. 19. That one is an ATP 250, occupying the lowest rung in the ATP's three-tier main tour system. The women's event that follows is a WTA Premier-level tournament, which is also a third-tier tournament but in a more complicated WTA scheme. The St. Petersburg Open is a more prestigious ATP 500 event, second only to a Masters 1000. The numbers attached to the tournaments represent the number of rankings points earned by the winner.
The Kremlin Cup, created in 1990, was the first international professional tennis tournament held in Russia following the collapse of Soviet rule. Originally for men only, a women's event was added in 1996. Among past winners: Martina Hingis, Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka and Simona Halep. The male champions include Marin Cilic, Richard Gasquet and defending champion Andrey Rublev.
Two other ATP 250 events in the same week as the Kremlin Cup are scheduled to proceed as normal.
The cancellation of the WTA event, along with the collapse of the fall Asian swing, means that the women's group now has just two tournaments left on the decimated 2020 calendar, a Premier in the Czech Republic and a lowly International-grade event in Limoges, France. Two other events that were postponed have not been rescheduled yet.