Officials for the WTA’s Volvo Car Open announced on Thursday that the tournament set to occur in Charleston, S.C., from April 3-11 will not permit fans due to COVID-19 concerns.
“When the WTA gave us the approval to move forward with planning our annual tournament, we had high hopes that the ongoing pandemic would not impact our ability to safely host the Volvo Car Open and welcome back a limited number of patrons,” the tournament explained in part of its official statement.
The tournament continued:
“Unfortunately, with the ongoing high positivity numbers and the potential of unknown restrictions on travel to the U.S., we have concluded that the creation of a made-for-TV tournament is the best possible outcome for the 2021 Volvo Car Open.”
As noted by the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), the Volvo Car Open is typically the first clay-court event of the tennis season but was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Professional sports competitions have run during the health crisis since last summer, however, and it’s believed the tournament will occur as scheduled.
According to the Volvo Car Open’s website, the competition is the largest women’s-only tennis tournament in North America.
Those who purchased tickets for this year’s event will be contacted about refunds.
The news comes one day after the WTA confirmed that all matches scheduled to take place at Melbourne Park on Thursday were postponed after a worker at a hotel housing a large number of players tested positive for COVID-19.