DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- There won't be professional tennis in Decatur this summer after all, as the USTA canceled all five ITF World Tennis Tour events in August including the Ursula Beck Pro Tennis Classic at Fairview Park.
The 22nd annual edition of the tournament was initially postponed to August 17-23rd, when it was scheduled to be among the first American tennis events of the COVID-19 era. Now it will have to wait until 2021.
Tournaments in Lexington, Ky., Landisville, Pa., Concord, Mass. and Memphis, Tenn. were also canceled.
"This was a disappointing day for our tennis community and the City of Decatur," tournament director Chuck Kuhle said in a statement. "Unfortunately, ever since the announcement on opening professional men’s tennis with our $25,000 men’s event a couple weeks ago, things seem to have just gone the other way for the tennis world. Several high-profile professional tennis players have contracted COVID-19 and the country as a whole has had more outbreaks."
Kuhle added that the postponement/cancellation was not a matter of struggling finances. "On the bright side, our committee was encouraged by the strong sponsorship pledged this year which nearly matched what we experienced in 2019," he said. "To have that kind of support in a year like this was unbelievable. We look forward to returning to the Fairview Tennis Center in 2021.”
ABOUT THE USTA/URSULA BECK PRO TENNIS CLASSIC (from press release)
The USTA/Ursula Beck Men’s Pro Tennis Classic began in 1999 and has developed into one of the premier tournaments on the United States Tennis Association Professional Circuit. Each year, 70 players from over 20 countries participate in the seven-day event, battling it out for ATP professional ranking points. Top players from the Decatur Futures have gone on to compete at all four Grand Slam tournaments against the likes of world No. 1’s Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.