(by Steve Hopkins/Photo Courtesy of ITTF)
The 2020 ITTF Calendar continues to shrink as they deal with the COVID-19 Pandemic. ITTF announced today that the Japan Open has been cancelled. This event was scheduled at the end of April, and it had been postponed with the hopes of playing the event this Fall. The announcement today eliminates the event from the calendar – of note because this is the first 2020 Platinum event to be cancelled. Nearly all other events on the ITTF tour calendar for April had been postponed and not cancelled.
The announcement today could be the first of many that remove events from the calendar entirely. Previously seven other April events had been postponed to 2021, and 10 (including the Japan Open) had been postponed. The Japan Open is the first April event to be cancelled. The next Platinum event on the Calendar had been the China Open which was originally scheduled for May 12-17. Many will be watching to see how the ITTF addresses these issues. As fewer and fewer weeks remain, it becomes increasingly difficult to hold all of these events. More cancellations are expected.