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Houston event off as men’s tennis tour makes schedule tweaks

Tennis: French Open

Oct 11, 2020; Paris, France; Novak Djokovic (SRB) hits the clay off his shoe during his match against Rafael Nadal (ESP) on day 15 at Stade Roland Garros. Mandatory Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

LONDON -- The U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship in Houston was canceled for the second year in a row because of the coronavirus pandemic, part of a series of changes to the men’s tennis calendar announced by the ATP.

The Houston tournament was supposed to be played April 3-11.

It was among the dozens of professional tennis events scrapped in 2020 while the tours were on hiatus for several months.

Until then, the U.S. Men’s Clay Court Championship had been held every year since 1929.

Among the other 2021 updates the men’s tour said it was making “in the face of scheduling challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic” was the move of the Hungarian Open clay-court tournament - usually held in Budapest in April - to Belgrade, Serbia.

The tournament director of the Belgrade event will be Djordje Djokovic, a younger brother of No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic.

The Serbia Open is scheduled to be held April 19-25. Belgrade previously hosted a tournament from 2009-12.

The ATP added two tournaments just for 2021 - in Singapore right after the Australian Open ends next month, and in Marbella, Spain, starting April 5.

The main-draw or qualifying fields are being expanded at some men’s tournaments to give more players opportunities to compete.