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New Zealand ATP, WTA tournaments in January both canceled

WELLINGTON, New Zealnad (AP) — The ATP and WTA tournaments set for Auckland in January have been canceled because of uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge announced the decision Tuesday, saying work on hosting the tennis tournaments had been well advanced but logistical and safety issues had taken precedence.

Serena Williams is the defending champion in the women’s event and Ugo Humbert of France is the reigning men’s champion.

“We are obviously incredibly sad to share this news but safety has to be our priority,” Budge said. “I’d like to thank the incredible dedication from the Classic team, volunteers and our sponsors who have strived tirelessly to make an event happen this summer.”

Dates for the tournament had not been confirmed but the Auckland events are usually among the first on the ATP and WTA calendars each season.

Any players traveling to New Zealand in January likely would have had to quarantine for two weeks on arrival. New Zealand’s borders currently are closed to all but citizens and permanent residents, except in rare circumstances where exemptions are granted.

The New Zealand tournaments are usually staged in the weeks leading up to the Australian Open, the season-opening Grand Slam event in Melbourne.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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