US Open Tennis at Indian Wells: The US Open could be moved from New York to Indian Wells and pushed back to November, United States Tennis Association executive director Michael Dowse has revealed.
The tennis grand slam is currently scheduled for August 31-September 13 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York. It is also the next grand slam on the provisional tennis calendar following the postponement of the French Open and cancellation of Wimbledon.
The Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Palm Springs, California has a 16,100-capacity main court as well as a number of outside courts, and additional practice courts. It traditionally houses the BNP Paribas Open, a joint event of the ATP World Tour and the WTA Tour.
The move to Indian Wells could happen depending on a number of factors, including California lifting shelter-in-place orders ahead of New York state amid the global Covid-19 pandemic. Last month, the USTA said it would wait until June before deciding whether the US Open can go ahead as planned.
“Nothing is off the table,” Dowse told Inside Tennis magazine. “There’s too much speculation – we’ll know so much more in June. In reality it’s certainly possible to play without fans. No formal decision has been made about Indian Wells. Whatever we do, we’ll have to do it in alignment with the owners of Indian Wells, and the ATP and the WTA. These days the most energy is on social distancing.”
An indoor tennis facility at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is currently serving as a temporary hospital due to the medical crisis in New York.
Following Dowse’s comments, the USTA released a statement seeking to downplay speculation of the tournament shifting away from New York.
“Our plans to stage the U.S. Open on our scheduled dates at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in New York with fans, remain on-going,” the USTA statement said. “However, we recognize that we are all facing an uncertain and rapidly changing environment regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and…have been aggressively modeling many other contingencies, including scenarios with no fans.
“We would like to clarify that, while we are exploring every possibility around the U.S. Open, the potential to shift the event location or date is not at the forefront at this point in time,” the organization said.
The biggest tennis stadium in the United States, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center has been temporarily converted into a hospital amid the coronavirus pandemic. More than 450 beds have been laid down in the stadium and around 25,000 people are fed inside the stadium. With escalating cases of COVID-19 in New York, US Open 2020 getting underway in Big Apple is unlikely.
According to the Spanish publication MARCA, the fourth Grand Slam of the year might be moved to Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California. The venue hosts America’s second-biggest tennis tournament, BNP Paribas Open. Earlier in March this year, the event was canceled due to one coronavirus confirmed case in Coachella Valley, Palm Springs area. It was the first tennis tournament to be canceled in 2020.
The Californian desert tournament is home to 29 tennis hard-courts. The center-court bears a capacity to seat 16,100 people, which makes it the second-largest tennis stadium in the world.
“Playing without spectators – it’s highly unlikely” – US Open 2020 organizers
The Flushing Meadows Slam has been scheduled to take place from August 31 to September 13, 2020. According to USTA chief of operations Mike Dowse, the US Open will confirm its status by June.
“Time is on our side at this point as the last Grand Slam,” Dowse said. “Obviously our ambition is to run the tournament. Having said that, it won’t be the driving factor. The driving factor is the health and well-being of our players, fans, and staff. We’ve set a time frame about June to make that decision.”
A few days ago Andy Murray announced that he will be traveling to the US…
Also, the tournament is not considering to host the last Slam of the year without spectators. If the medical experts urge the organizers to abstain fans from coming into the stadium, only then the event will consider hosting it without spectators.
” alt=”” aria-hidden=”true” />
However, hosting a Grand Slam without spectators will cause a massive drop in the tournament’s revenue.
“Playing without spectators – we’re not taking anything off the table – but it’s highly unlikely,” Dowse said. “It’s not really in the spirit of the celebration of tennis. We really don’t see that as an option. Unless the medical experts come back with: here’s a foolproof way of doing a safe tournament without fans. We may look at it at that point.”