Italian Tennis Federation angry that Rome tennis tournament will take place without the public.
The 2020 Internazionali d'Italia tennis tournament, also known as the Rome Masters or the Italian Open,will take place behind closed doors at the Foro Italico, from 14-21 September.
The fact that the major sporting event is being held without the public has been slammed as an "enormous injustice," by the Italian Tennis Federation (FIT) president Angelo Binaghi.
Organisers had hoped that the championship, rescheduled from its usual May time slot due to the covid-19 pandemic, could have been opened to a limited number of spectators.
However Italian health authorities have decided that the tournament - which drew 220,000 spectators last year - must be played behind closed doors under Italy's coronavirus restrictions.
"The damage is enormous," Binaghi stated, "If they had told us that this was their intention, we could have moved the tournament to Genoa, or to Puglia, there would have been many regions where we could play the Internationals in reduced form for the public."
With the exception of Roger Federer, who is taking time off for knee surgery, the 77th edition of Internazionali d'Italia di Tennis will host the top tennis players in the world.
The championship will feature Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas and Zverev, with Italy's hopes resting on Matteo Berettini and Fabio Fognini.
The female players will include Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Elina Svitolina, and Naomi Osaka, with Ashleigh Barty pulling out of the championship at the last moment.
Players travelling to Rome from the US Open will reportedly have a special permit to be able to play without the quarantine required for those entering Italy from the United States.
Photo credit: FRANCESCO PANUNZIO / Shutterstock.com.
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Rome: World's tennis stars compete behind closed doors
Viale del Foro Italico, 00135 Roma RM, Italy