ATP Tour

Rio Open cancelled in latest Covid upheaval

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Tennis ball (Photo by Iván Terrón/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Tennis ball (Photo by Iván Terrón/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Organizers of the Rio Open, the biggest tennis tournament in South America, said Thursday they were canceling this year's edition because of the worsening Covid-19 situation in Brazil.

The ATP 500 event had already been postponed indefinitely from mid-February to make way in the calendar for the Australian Open, which was also postponed over the coronavirus pandemic.

"Given the uncertain situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the Rio Open... will not be held in 2021," organizers said in a statement.

The event will next be held in 2022, they said.

The last ATP Rio final was held on February 23, 2020, just days before the first case of Covid-19 was identified in Brazil.

The disease has gone on to claim more than 320,000 lives in Brazil, a death toll second only to that of the United States.

The South American country is struggling to deal with a new surge of the virus that killed 66,500 people last month, more than double its previous monthly record in July 2020.

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