US Open to go ahead in August and September behind closed doors


The US Open will be held from 31 August to 13 September behind closed doors.

The Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, confirmed the Grand Slam will take place at Flushing Meadows at a press conference on Tuesday as part of the state’s reopening from shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo assured that the United States Tennis Association would be taking “extraordinary precautions” to protect players and staff at the event, including robust testing, additional cleaning and extra locker room space.

“We’re excited about the US Open, (which) is going to be held in Queens, 31 August through 13 September. It will be held without fans, but you can watch it on TV — and I’ll take that,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing.

The French Open was postponed from May and is now scheduled to begin a week after the conclusion of the US Open. Wimbledon, meanwhile, was cancelled altogether for the first time since the Second World War.

A number of the world’s top players have, however, publicly expressed reservations over attending Flushing Meadows, which was used as a temporary facility for hospital beds at the peak of the pandemic.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic labelled the safety precautions involved as “extreme”, while Rafael Nadal admitted he had little desire to travel and compete in the current climate.

“We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week,” said Djokovic. “Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.”

Overseas players, such as world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and Nick Kyrgios, have raised concerns over international travel restrictions, with Australia’s quarantine measures meaning they would currently have to self-isolate for 14 days after returning home following the event.

Professional tennis has been suspended since March and will not resume until at least 1 August.


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