It’s more than a month away.
But the International Tennis Federation announced this morning that the inaugural Fed Cup finals, set for Budapest, Hungary the week of April 14, already have been postponed.
It was not really an optional decision, more of a “let’s not wait and see if things improve quickly” decision.
The Hungarian government decreed Wednesday that indoor public gatherings of more than 100 people are prohibited going forward.
There was the usual statement that includes the word “stakeholders”.
Because there’s a lot at stake.
They’re looking for an alternative week which, as we know with the crowded Tour calendars, isn’t as easy as just picking one.
“The ITF is committed to delivering the Fed Cup Finals in 2020 and is in consultation with key stakeholders, including the Hungarian Government, the Hungarian Tennis Association (HTA) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) to find a suitable alternative date for the tournament,” the statement read.
The ITF is also working with the mothership – the International Olympic Committee – to address impact on eligibility for the Tokyo Olympics.
If there’s an Olympics.
Playoff ties also postponed
There were also eight Fed Cup playoff ties scheduled for April 17 and 18. Those, too, have been postponed and the plan is to reschedule.
They were due to take place in the following countries (host nations listed second)
Brazil vs. Poland*
Great Britain vs. Mexico*
Canada vs. Serbia*
India vs. Latvia*
Ukraine vs. Japan *
Italy vs. Romania*
Kazakhstan vs. Argentina*
China vs. Netherlands*
ITF President David Haggerty struck the notes about the safety and welfare of those involved. But the reality is that the government gave them little choice.
“We are extremely disappointed to have to make this decision, but we will not risk the safety and welfare of players, captains, event staff or spectators. This decision has not been made lightly; the threat posed by the COVID-19 is a serious one and calls for us to act responsibly as a federation and as human beings. This situation goes beyond sport.
“New dates for the Finals and for the Play-Offs will be announced in due course and will primarily be guided by the length of time that tennis as a whole is affected by COVID-19.”