ATP Dismisses St. Petersburg Open Tournament Director’s Request

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December 10, 2020 10:27 pm

The St. Petersburg Open is one of Russia’s top tennis tournaments. For 2020, the ATP promoted the tournament to the ATP 500 category from its 250 series status. The organizers were hoping for a permanent ATP 500 status, but for 2021 it will go back to being an ATP 250 tournament.

As the pandemic was wreaking havoc in 2020, seven out of the 13 scheduled ATP 500 events were canceled. To get in more ATP 500 series tournaments at the final stages of the 2020 season, St. Petersburg Open was promoted to the 500 series. But this was only for 2020, and thus the tournament is back in the 250 series calendar.

Andrey Rublev in action. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

St. Petersburg Open Tournament Director aimed at permanent ATP 500 status

But now as the 2021 calendar is being made, it looks like St. Petersburg Open will be an ATP 250 tournament. It is an immense blow to the organizers. Alexander Medvedev, the tournament director, was very keen on making the St. Petersburg Open a 500 series tournament. In his announcement before the 2020 edition, he put out his aim of keeping the promoted status of the event.

“This year for the first time in the history of Russian tennis, a men’s tournament will be held in the ATP 500 status. This will be an exciting high-profile event. Star-packed list of participants for the jubilee edition confirms this fact. We aim to keep the ATP 500 category for the future.”

A general view inside the newly modernized center court stadium at ATP 500 Hamburg Open. REUTERS/Cathrin Mueller

But now it looks like the organizers will have to wait longer for the upgraded category. Nevertheless, the organizers can boast a healthy history the tournament has had. Many Grand Slam champs have won titles in St Petersburg. Andy Murray, Marat Safin, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, etc.

Andrey Rublev: Champion of St. Petersburg Open 2020

The 2020 edition of the St. Petersburg Open saw another Russian with the title. This time it was Andrey Rublev. He became the fifth Russian to win the title, and Rublev’s 4th title in 2020. He finished the season with 5 titles. Prior to him, Daniil Medvedev was the champion in 2019.

Andrey Rublev celebrates with the St. Petersburg Open. REUTERS/Anton Vaganov

The pandemic is still prevalent, and all organizers will be cautious for 2021. With the delayed scheduling of the Australian Open 2021, the coming season will again be cramped. The season will be regarded as a success if 90% of the tournaments that were scheduled in 2020 happen in 2021.

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Bhavishya Mittal

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport. Bhavishya admires the fast and grueling nature of 21st-century tennis with him considering Roger Federer a standout performer.

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