This Tuesday the schedule of the Open of the United States after several months of uncertainty and no activity on the ATP circuit. Despite the complaint of some figures, the authorities announced that the US Open will be done with some restrictions.
"The US Open will be held in Queens, New York, with no fans from August 31 to September 13"Governor Andrew Cuomo wrote on his Twitter account.
The celebration of this Grand Slam tournament was in uncertainty for weeks due to the expansion of the coronavirus in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. As the restrictions that will be established to protect players from the virus became known, orA group of figures like Novak Djokovic have been expressing their doubts about traveling to compete in New York.
The Tennis Federation of state United (USTA), organizer of the event, "will take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff, including a robust testing system, additional cleaning, extra space in the changing rooms, and accommodation and transportation ”, Cuomo stressed. The USTA was planning to announce the tournament this week once it received authorization from local authorities.
"We are very excited that Governor Cuomo and New York State approved our plan today," said Mike Dowse, executive director of USTA, in a brief statement. "Now we can give fans around the world a chance to see top tennis athletes compete for a United States Open title., and we can show tennis as the ideal sport of social distancing ”, he added.
Dowse, who announced that the official announcement of the tournament will be made on Wednesday, said that the 2020 Western & Southern Open will also be held at the Open headquarters in Flushing Meadows, without giving more details. In this way, two of the three pending Grand Slam championships in the 2020 tennis calendar remain standing, after what Roland Garros was postponed in late September and Wimbledon canceled its edition for the first time since World War II.
In recent weeks, the USTA's plans to circumvent the coronavirus threat have been met with broad reservations among the top players, especially the world's number one, Novak Djokovic. "We recognize the tremendous responsibility to host one of the world's first sporting events in these difficult times, and we will do so as safely as possible, mitigating all potential risks," promised the USTA Executive Director.
New York State concentrates around 30,000 of the more than 116,000 deaths in the United States from the coronavirus.
Under proposed security protocols, tennis players would be confined to a hotel on the outskirts of Manhattan and only allowed to be accompanied by one member of their team. The singles qualifying rounds would be abolished while doubles categories would drop from 64 pairings to just 24.
However, Djokovic considered security measures and restrictions on the number of support personnel to be problematic. "We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested two or three times a week," exposed Nole. “Also, we could only carry one person, which is really impossible. You need your trainer, your physical trainer, your physical therapist ”. The doubts of the Serbian have been shared by the world number two and current champion of the OpenRafael Nadal, who said earlier this month that he would not play the tournament if it were to be held at that time.
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With information from AFP