The Italian Open males’s tournament subsequent month could be expanded from 64 to 96 players and have three extra days of matches as tennis officers scramble to rewrite their schedule amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The ATP Tour approached Rome organizers with an growth proposal and provided to cowl the additional prize cash that may be required, Italian Tennis Federation president Angelo Binaghi mentioned Wednesday.
The proposal comes a day after the Madrid Open in September was canceled due to a brand new spike in COVID-19 circumstances in Spain.
“We’ll discuss it following the next government decree,” Binaghi mentioned. “If we are given the chance to open the tournament to fans then it’s a possibility we want to take advantage of. Otherwise, with only more costs, we won’t be able to sustain it.
“It’s a big chance to show the world how well we can organize a big tournament,” Binaghi added. “The fact that Madrid is no longer being played opens a big door for us.”
The Rome occasion was postponed from May and rescheduled for Sept. 20-27. It’s slated to be the primary warmup occasion for the postponed French Open, which has been rescheduled for Sept. 27-Oct. 11.
The growth proposal thus far doesn’t embrace the WTA Tour, which means the ladies’s Italian Open would stay a 64-player draw performed alongside the lads’s occasion.
Last month, the Italian authorities’s technical and scientific committee for the coronavirus reportedly rejected the tennis’ federation proposal to have up to 17,000 followers every day on the Foro Italico — and as a substitute ordered the tournament to be held with out followers.
Italy, the primary Western nation to be overwhelmed by the virus, has largely contained its unfold with a extreme preliminary lockdown, continued masks necessities indoors and social distancing measures. It continues to register some 200-300 new circumstances every day, a lot of them imported by returning employees or migrants.
Rome is now scheduled to be the following massive tournament after the Aug. 31-Sept. 13 U.S. Open.
But anybody coming to Italy from the U.S. is at present being ordered to quarantine for 2 weeks — except coming for a fast work journey.
“We’ve put in a request with the sports minister asking that players coming from the United States are not ordered to quarantine,” Binaghi mentioned.
The skilled tennis excursions had been on hiatus since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, with play resuming for girls in Palermo, Sicily, this week.
Last yr’s Italian Open was received by Rafael Nadal and Karolína Plíšková.