On what should accept been semifinal Saturday at the Volvo Car Open, the advanced gates were locked.
A behemothic affiche of arresting best Madison Keys dressed up the advanced of Volvo Car Stadium, but the seats central were empty. The acknowledgment stands and arcade kiosks on the breadth at LTP Daniel Island, usually active with activity, were silent. The media center, congenital to handle journalists from all over the world, stood half-constructed, with no walls or roof.
The shops and restaurants beyond from the amphitheater on Seven Farms Drive, abreast for one of their better weeks of the year, were shuttered or quiet. Under the Wando River Bridge, on grass usually arranged with anchored cars, a abandoned lacrosse amateur tossed his brawl adjoin one of the bridge’s pillars, adequate the absolute acclimate in solitude.
“When I attending at what ability accept been,” said a buzz Bob Moran, the Volvo Car Open clash administrator and the man who runs the better women’s alone able tennis clash in North America. “We had the arch acreage we’ve anytime had, by a continued shot. We were accomplishing absolutely able-bodied at the admission office.
“I absolutely saw this as a banderole year for us, so this is absolutely boxy on my team, all of our volunteers and partners, our players and fans. Everybody was absolutely aflame about what this ceremony was activity to be.”
The Volvo Car Open, accessible to bless its 20th ceremony in Charleston this accomplished week, was affected to abolish this year’s clash on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The semifinals would accept been captivated Saturday and the championship bout Sunday.
The clash totals about 90,000 assemblage for the week, with an bread-and-butter appulse called at about $30 actor for the Charleston area. The Tennis Channel was set to accompany about 60 hours of alive advantage to 152 countries about the world.
Would Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep, the top two players in the apple according to WTA Tour rankings, accept battled in that final? Would 2019 best Madison Keys accept dedicated her crown? Would American awareness and No. 4-ranked Sofia Kenin, who won her aboriginal Grand Slam appellation at the Australian Open in January at the age of 21, burst through on the VCO’s blooming clay?
How would hometown charlatan Shelby Rogers accept fared? How about above apple No. 1 Kim Clijsters, authoritative a improvement as a mom at age 36 and arena in Charleston for the aboriginal time?
And how would accept cyberbanking band calls formed on clay? The Volvo Car Open was set to become the aboriginal WTA Tour clay-court accident to use burning epitomize technology on accustomed band calls.
We’ll never know.
“It’s been a abandoned and boxy ceremony for all of us, that’s for sure,” Moran said.
Even as the box seats and affluence suites stood abandoned this week, Moran and his agents were axis their absorption to the future.
“I will say with authoritativeness that we will accept the Volvo Car Open in 2021,” Moran said.
It won’t be accessible to get there, Moran acknowledged. A lot of money had already been spent on the 2020 VCO afore it was shut bottomward on March 12, and not abundant money is advancing in, if any. The clash has nine full-time advisers and some part-time employees, and Moran said no furloughs or layoffs accept happened yet.
“We are in the action of authoritative those decisions now,” he said.
Charleston agent Ben Navarro, CEO and architect of Sherman Financial Group, bought the operations of Volvo Car Amphitheater and the above Family Circle Tennis Centermost in September 2018 through his company, Beemok Sports LLC.
The communicable has shut bottomward not alone the Volvo Car Open, but a alternation of concerts at the stadium.
The admission berth was shuttered on what should accept been semifinal Saturday at the Volvo Car Open, canceled due to coronavirus. Jeff Hartsell/Staff
“We accept three altered acquirement streams,” Moran said. “No. 1 is the tournament, No. 2 is the concerts and third is the circadian tennis activities of the center. Appropriate now, none of those streams is advancing in.
“So appropriate now, we accept no acquirement advancing in. And we did go to absolutely a bit of amount in alertness for the tournament. We were not absolutely congenital out, but I’d say we were 30 to 40 percent congenital out for the tournament. So it’s a appealing cogent cardinal that we are demography on the chin.”
But with a committed bounded buyer such as Navarro at the helm, Moran said the VCO will try to conduct business as accepted in the advancing year, as abundant as is possible.
“I don’t anticipate it will affect us in as abundant as we will abide with business as accepted and try to body up appear 2021,” he said. “It will be our 21st year on Daniel Island, but our 20th tournament, and will be planning to do a lot of things in 2021 that we were planning to do this year to bless our 20th anniversary.”
Moran acicular out that it’s not alone tournaments and admirers who are missing out. Players are not able to attempt for their paychecks, and not all of them accept the coffer annual of Serena Williams.
“The players accept not been able to acquire a living,” said Moran, who sits on the WTA clash council. “What can we do for them? It will appear bottomward to all the administering bodies — the WTA, the ATP, the ITF, the Grand Slams — advancing calm and addition out a bold plan.”
On Saturday, the WTA adjourned the Rogers Cup in Montreal, set for August, until abutting year. The WTA Tour is currently abeyant through July 12. Wimbledon has been canceled, the U.S. Open and French Open adjourned until the fall — maybe.
“The hardest affair we accord with now,” Moran said, “is the alien of aback all this will end.”
On Sunday, the Volvo Car Open beatific a bulletin to its fans.
The Volvo Car Open erected a advance vowing that “We’ll Animation Back” abreast the Ravenel Bridge. Provided/VCO
“This year, the Volvo Car Open bays goes to you — the fans,” the account said.
“Life served an abrupt ambit ball, but you hit it appropriate back. It takes grit, but you are allotment to break home and break safe. Your charge to attention your health, your admired ones and your association is what makes you the ultimate champions of 2020. We absent seeing you in the stands this year, but we apperceive we’ll see you afresh in Charleston soon.”
Said Moran, “That’s our message: We’ll animation back. And we’re aflame about what that will attending like. We are activity to appear aback strong.”
10 Picture Volvo Tennis Open 2020 Players – volvo tennis open 2020 players
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