Polansky slams ATP over unfair Challenger Tour plan

Canadian tennis player Peter Polansky said the ATP needs to schedule tournaments across continents so that players have equal access to them

Peter Polansky

Canadian tennis player Peter Polansky has slammed the ATP (men’s tennis governing body) for scheduling Challenger events only in Europe while there are travel restrictions to enter the continent.

The ATP Challenger Tour, which has been suspended since March due to Coronavirus, will resume on August 17 with events in Todi, Italy and Prague, Czech Republic. A total of six Challenger events are scheduled to be played this month, all of which will take place in the aforementioned European countries.

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“Hello ATP Tour, if I cannot enter EU from USA to play challengers,” Polansky had tweeted on August 1. “How is it fair for anyone outside of EU who need to jump through fire to play 100k challengers? If that’s the case I host my own tournament. $100k to winner, 150 points, nobody allowed to enter except me.”

In a fresh spate of tweets, Polansky mocked at ATP’s flawed plan again, saying that the governing body should have arranged for events on all continents to keep it fair.

“Current challenger tournaments: Italy, Czech Republic,” he wrote. “Government websites for those countries: ‘Nobody is allowed to enter if you have been in United States recently.’”

“I think it’s fine to play, but there needs to be tournament in USA/Asia/South America that everyone has access to. Not just EU which has very strict rules on travel. If Orlando challenger wasn’t canceled I am happy as can be. Now sad. Maybe will change to happy again soon.”

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The first non-European Challenger will be played in Cary, North Carolina on September 14.

Meanwhile, the ATP Tour is set to resume with the Western and Southern Open (Cincinnati Masters), which will be played at Flushing Meadows in New York this time, on August 22.

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Polansky’s frustration is understandable, given that the lower-ranked players have suffered financially more during the five-month tour suspension. And given the travel restrictions during the Covid-19 era, their time away from the game may be extended indefinitely.

The world No 192 received support from fellow Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko.