Rio Open tournament canceled due to COVID-19
General view of the main court at the ATP World Tour Rio Open 2020 tournament. Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP) (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL/AFP via Getty Images

Rio Open tennis tournament canceled due to COVID-19

Organizers for the Rio Open tennis tournament confirmed on Thursday that the event has been canceled due to COVID-19 spikes throughout Brazil. 

The tournament was originally scheduled to run from Feb. 15-21 but was postponed because of coronavirus-related concerns. 

"Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Rio Open will not take place in 2021," reads a statement posted on the event's website. "Despite the hope of holding the tournament later in the year, the scenario to this day is still not favorable. With that, the 8th edition of the tournament will be held in February 2022.

"Since the beginning of the pandemic, IMM has also decided to suspend all events with public attendance, as was the case of the in-person edition of the Sao Paulo Fashion Week and the Taste food festival. Corporate governance rules and internal policies support the mitigation of risks to the public and the brand integrity of our sponsors and partners. It was set that IMM would only hold events again when it was possible to establish protocols that would ensure the safety of employees, suppliers, and the people who entrust us with their leisure time. As it is not yet possible to carry out these measures, there was no other action but to announce that the 8th edition of the Rio Open will not take place in 2021."

According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), tournament director Luiz Carvalho added: "We fought until the end to be able to play in 2021, but unfortunately it is not possible." 

Cristian Garin won the ATP 500 event in 2020. The Rio Open is the largest annual tennis tournament in South America.  

Zac Wassink is a football and futbol aficionado who is a PFWA member and is probably yelling about Tottenham Hotspur at the moment. Erik Lamela and Eli Manning apologist. Chanted for Matt Harvey to start the ninth inning of Game 5 of the 2015 World Series at Citi Field. Whoops. You can find him on Twitter at @ZacWassink

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