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Davis Cup and Fed Cup Finals cancelled, 2021 dates announced

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Spain's Rafael Nadal (R) takes a selfie photo posing with teammates and the winner's trophy during the trophy ceremony after winning the Davis Cup Madrid Finals

Image credit: Getty Images

ByReuters
26/06/2020 at 11:14 | Updated 26/06/2020 at 12:21

The inaugural version of the revamped Fed Cup Finals has been moved to next year, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Friday, with the 2020 Davis Cup Finals also cancelled.

Twelve nations were set to contest the showpiece team event in Budapest in April but it was postponed after the COVID-19 pandemic closed down the tennis season.

It will now take place from April 13-18 next year on indoor clay at the Laszlo Papp Arena in the Hungarian capital.

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The women's WTA Tour is scheduled to resume in Palermo, Italy on Aug. 3 but the ITF said the ongoing challenges caused by the pandemic have forced them to delay for a year.

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"In addition to the Laszlo Papp Arena being unavailable over the latter part of the year, there remain significant logistical and regulatory challenges that mean hosting an indoor mass gathering while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved will not be feasible," a statement said.

The same nations will contest the event next year while the playoffs that should have taken place in April will now be staged in February 2021.

ITF President David Haggerty said that while it was "regrettable" he was confident that Budapest would hold a "superb" event in 2021.

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While 10 of the 12 qualifiers were European nations -- the U.S. and Australia completed the field -- the logistics of such a large event would prove challenging, especially with nations at different stages in the pandemic.

Around 60 players, plus support staff, would have assembled in Budapest for the Finals. The ITF said hosting the event without fans had not been considered a desirable option.

"We believe the best way forward in order both to protect the health and safety of all involved and to best respect the integrity of the competition is to extend this year's Fed Cup into 2021, with the event returning to an annual basis the following year," Haggerty said.

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Davis Cup postponed

Meanwhile, the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid will now take place the week commencing November 22 next year, with 18 teams due to compete.

Gerard Pique, Kosmos Tennis President said: “It’s a huge disappointment for all of us that the Davis Cup Finals will not be held in 2020. We don’t know how the situation will develop in each qualified nation, or if restrictions in Spain will remain sufficiently eased, as such it is impossible to predict the situation in November and guarantee the safety of those travelling to Madrid.

"This postponement has no long-term bearing on our collective ambitions for the Davis Cup. The ITF and Kosmos Tennis look forward to delivering an outstanding competition in 2021, when it is safe and feasible to do so.”

Haggerty added: “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. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Kosmos Tennis in order to deliver a fantastic competition next year”.

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