LOS ANGELES | new Balls: after a forced interruption of more than four months because of the sars coronavirus, the world tennis will resume his duties with the US Open, from August 31 to September 13 in New York, with no spectators, but with what stars?
First defection of size, the Romanian Simona Halep, a former world number one, will be absent, preferring to focus on Roland Garros, reprogrammed at the end of September.
Not yet what to really spoil the good news, so long awaited, of the admirers of the little yellow ball given by the governor of New York on Twitter: “The US Open will be held in Queens, NY, closed to the public from 31 August to 13 September.”
“The american federation of tennis (USTA) will take precautions extraordinary to protect the players and staff, including regular testing, cleaning increased places, an extra space reserved for dressing rooms, accommodation and a dedicated transport”, listed Andrew Cuomo, after having given the green light.
The USTA has immediately displayed his satisfaction after so many uncertainties related to the pandemic, which has made the bet to keep the tournament in New York, the city most affected by the COVID-19. The spread is now better contained.
“We are aware of the huge responsibility of hosting a major global sporting events in these difficult times, and we’ll do it in the safest way possible,” said the proceeding, before the details of his plan come out in the media.
A month in New York
As well, the US Open will be amputated of qualifications in the single and the array of doubles will be reduced to 64 pairs to 32.
The Masters 1000 of Cincinnati has been moved from August 22 to 28 at Flushing Meadows, for the chain with the Major, in order to concentrate the players in New York for almost a month.
Remains to be seen whether the other tournaments of the summer tour on hard in North America will be maintained. ATP and WTA should, in principle, communicate Wednesday on the timing of recovery.
In the meantime, the maintenance of the US Open has something to relieve the USTA, which comes to incur a restructuring that resulted in the layoff of 110 employees. Without an audience, the income will be lower, but offset by those from television rights.
According to the protocols provided, players will have the choice between being housed in a hotel where two double rooms will be reserved, or rent a home at their own expense, outside of Manhattan. They will be accompanied by three members of their entourage.
What you need to make well-less “extreme” conditions as well qualified as the week passed by Novak Djokovic, who had deemed it “impossible” to get there without his staff full.
The decision “selfish” for Kyrgios
Regarding tests of the COVID-19, players will need to perform prior to their departure and throughout their stay, at the rate of one per week to two. Taken from daily temperatures and the wearing of masks, social distancing will be required.
Convince Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, who claimed in early June that “you can’t resume as long as the situation is not entirely” safe”? The coming days will say, then, that in their equation, in addition to the famous Roland-Garros and the prospect of a chain complex.
In the absence of Roger Federer, who has drawn a line on 2020 after reoperation of the right knee, he still seems difficult to imagine the Spanish missed an opportunity to win in New York’s 20th Grand Slam and so return to the height of Switzerland. Ditto for Djokovic, who can approach them with a potential 18th title.
“Of course, that the people who live in the US are pushing for the holding of the US Open,” responded the Australian Nick Kyrgios on his Twitter account, denouncing a decision “selfish”. Before to be ironical: “I will prepare my combination (protection) Hazmat when I will be traveling to Australia, then I will have to put me in quarantine for two weeks upon my return.”
Far from these considerations, the Czech Petra Kvitova, double winner of Wimbledon, believes that many players will play the US Open due to financial reasons.
“To be honest, I don’t want to go there… We will not be able to do anything else. And, most importantly, we will play without fans”, she confided to a media Czech. “But you can earn money after a long period of time, and I think many will go there”.
In contrast, her compatriot Karolina Pliskova, number 3 in the world, has stressed “the importance of playing again”. “If we stay at home waiting for the ideal situation, we can wait forever”.