Novak Djokovic and Sofia Kenin will be among the men’s and women’s tennis stars to compete in June tournaments despite the suspensions of the ATP Tour and WTA Tour seasons.
Both tours have been suspended since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Djokovic organized the Adria Tour. The round-robin tournament is scheduled for June 13 to July 5 in the Balkan region. The event will also feature No. 3 Dominic Thiem, No. 7 Alexander Zverev, No. 19 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 33 Borna Coric and No. 37 Marin Cilic, in addition to the top-ranked Djokovic.
The Serbian said he doesn’t expect No. 2 Rafael Nadal or No. 4 Roger Federer to participate in the event.
No. 6 Bianca Andreescu, No. 13 Madison Keys, No. 37 Sloane Stephens, No. 58 Victoria Azarenka, No. 90 Monica Puig and multiple Grand Slam doubles champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands will join No. 4 Kenin in the Credit One Bank Invitational June 23 to 28 at LTP Daniel Island in Charleston, S.C.
The women’s tournament, which will be held without fans, will feature 16 WTA players. Half of the proceeds from the event will go to Medical University of South Carolina healthcare workers. The tournament will include singles and doubles play.
“Charleston has proven time and again to be the poster child for resiliency — and in my mind, this special tournament will help accomplish three very critical things,” Charleston Tennis LLC owner Ben Navarro told the Tennis Channel.
“First, it is a tangible way to show the world we are able to bring back live sport for public enjoyment; Second, it allows our community and tennis fans all over to support the tennis professionals whose opportunities to compete this year have been severely limited; Third, it helps us show our frontline medical professionals how much we care, with half of the proceeds going directly to support MUSC.”
The first leg of the Adria Tour is scheduled for June 13 and 14 in Belgrade. The tournament will then move to Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Fans have not been ruled out for the event. A tournament release said tickets will be available for two sessions per day, if an audience is allowed.
“We would dearly love for fans to be able to attend, but that’s still not certain because we have to abide by the Serbian government’s coronavirus regulations,” Djokovic said Monday at a news conference.
The Adria Tour will be televised on Balkans sports channel Sportklub. The Credit One Bank Invitational will air on the Tennis Channel.
The WTA Tour and ATP Tour are suspended through July 31 but some players participated in mini-tournaments earlier this month in West Palm Beach, Fla.