World Tour Tennis tournament postponed after ITF suspend all events until April 20
The Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament has been postponed after the International Tennis Federation suspended all events until April 20.
The $60,000 women’s event was scheduled to take place on the indoor courts at The Shrewsbury Club between March 30 and April 5, with leading British players and international stars set to compete to lift the Citroen Trophy.
The ITF created a COVID-19 Advisory Group that has been continuously monitoring the global spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus. The ITF is taking the precautionary measure to postpone all ITF-owned and sanctioned events, and although this will be reviewed on a weekly basis, no ITF events will take place until at least the week of Monday, April 20.
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said: “We are very disappointed that the tournament cannot go ahead but we completely understand the reasons why. We are aware of the value of this event to the town in terms of raising its profile and bringing business to Shrewsbury, so it is such a shame that this will be lost.
“The safety and wellbeing of our staff and members, the players, spectators and our volunteers is our number one priority, so we fully respect the decision which has been made by the ITF.
“We had been reviewing the situation on a daily basis and were aware a number of tennis events around the world have been called off. We had already planned some additional precautions to minimise the risks of the COVID-19 virus during the tournament.
"We are reliant on the ITF to sanction for the tournament, and it’s become apparent with the increasing disruption to travel, the restrictions in place, and the need for self-isolation for players travelling from certain areas that it was not going to be practical for the event to run.”
Mr Courteen hopes the Shrewsbury event, which had been scheduled to be covered on the BBC Sport website and the BBC iPlayer service, will be rearranged for later in the year.
“We hope there will be an alternative date when the tournament can take place,” he added. “We are really keen to work with the ITF and the LTA to source an appropriate date later in the season when the tournament can be played, but it is too early for us to make that announcement now.
“The event has been very well supported by a huge number of sponsors. We will be working with them to deal with this going forward to ensure they still get the benefit of their sponsorship either at a future event or in some other way.
“All ticket holders will be refunded in full over the next seven days.”
Richard Joyner, LTA Tournament Director, said: “Naturally we’re very disappointed that the tournament has been postponed. Everyone at the club, local partners and businesses have put a huge amount of work and backing into staging the event, which is an important part of our event calendar. However we completely understand and appreciate the reasons for the decision made earlier today for all ITF events across the world."