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Tournament Update
USTA Cancels 18s, 16s National Championships

Given the increase of positive Covid-19 cases across the country, the USTA has canceled the Boys and Girls 18s and 16s National Hardcourt Championships scheduled for August 7-15 in Florida, California, Alabama and Georgia.

The Boys 18s event was slated to be held at the USTA National Campus in Orlando, Florida, while the Girls 18s event was scheduled to be held in San Diego at the Barnes Tennis Center. The Boys 16s event was slated to be held in Mobile, Alabama and the Girls 16s event in Rome, Georgia.

The decision was made with the guidance from the USTA Medical Advisory Group to ensure the health and safety of all those involved with the tournaments, according to a press release by the USTA on Tuesday.

The USTA had already announced the cancelation of the Boys and Girls 14s and 12s events last month.

After a short period of optimism about the coronavirus pandemic getting more under control through shutdown efforts, the reopening of cities and counties and increased testing has led to more positive results and more caution by officials in the last few days.

There were more than 3.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States through the weekend, according to The New York Times. The country set a new single-day record last Friday, recording more than 68,000 new cases.

Florida had more than 282,000 confirmed cases, the third-most in the country behind only New York and California, and set a daily record on Sunday with more than 15,000 new cases.

College coaches were already prevented from attending the national events given the NCAA’s extension of the dead period and the USTA’s restrictions on spectators.

The safety of the tennis being played was not a concern of the USTA Medical Advisory Group and did not factor into the decision to cancel the events, according to the USTA. It was the nature of the events that prevented an inherent risk, with large numbers of individuals at one site, at one time with interstate travel involved, which would make risk mitigation difficult.

Having a more controlled environment that includes contained lodging, transportation, food and beverage and medical testing programs in place would have been logistically and financially unrealistic.

According to Colette Lewis, this is the first year in USTA Boys 18s and 16s Nationals history, which extends back to 1916, that the tournament will not be held. (The Boys 16s division was for players 15-and-under prior to 1963).


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About Rhiannon Potkey

Rhiannon Potkey is a veteran sportswriter with more than two decades of experience in journalism. Potkey has covered many sports at many levels and has a passion for finding great stories. Potkey has covered the U.S. Open, junior sectional and national events, college conference championships and Davis Cup matches. Potkey is currently Content Strategist for Tennis Recruiting. You can reach Rhiannon by email at [email protected].
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Colette Lewis has covered topflight junior events as a freelance journalist for over a decade. Read her weekly column, follow her on Twitter, and and find more of her daily commentary at ZooTennis.

Page updated on Tuesday, August 04, 2020
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