The ATP tennis tournament in Stockholm, scheduled for October, has been cancelled due to the impact of the novel coronavirus, organisers said Friday.
The Stockholm Open was scheduled to run from October 19 to 25.
“It is with great sorrow that we are forced to accept that the tournament must take a one-year break,” Thomas Enqvist, tournament director for the Stockholm Open, said in a statement.
This is the first time the Swedish tournament has been cancelled since its inception in 1969.
While Sweden never imposed a full lockdown, it has put a ban on public gatherings with more than 50 people in place, a measure which remains in force.
Interviewed by news agency TT, the CEO of Stockholm Open, Jamie Perry, explained that playing the tournament without an audience was off the table since the “larger part of revenues are from the audience and sponsors.”
“We can only refer to the recommendations that are in place and we also don’t want to contribute to an increased spread,” Perry told TT.
“In the end it was an easy decision,” he added.
This year’s tennis circuit has already been upended several times by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II, while the Madrid Open and Japan Open have also been scrapped.
The ATP schedule is set to resume on August 22 with the Western & Southern Open, which has been moved from Cincinnati to New York, before the US Open, which will be held on August 31 to September 13.
The women’s tour restarted in Palermo, Italy, on August 3 after a five-month hiatus.