US Open Tennis Decision: The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is set to make a “final, final decision” on whether or not go ahead with the 2020 US Open on Friday, according to journalist Jon Wertheim.
USTA confirmed in mid-June that the hard-court Grand Slam will go ahead as planned from August 31 to September 13, but it will be a closed-doors event with strict health and safety protocols to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.
However, doubts remain over the event and world No 1 Ashleigh Barty on Thursday became the highest-profile player to confirm that she won’t compete at Flushing Meadows this year.
The likes of world No 2 Simona Halep and fellow Grand Slam winners Angelique Kerber have also indicated that they are unlikely to travel to the United States.
Speaking before Barty’s announcement, Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim revealed that the tournament is still on as things stand, but a final decision is still to be made.
“So far the US Open is on [but] we are going to have a final, final decision on Friday July 31st,” he told SI.com.
“Right now the concerns are not about the health and safety in the region, New York is trending in the right direction. The real concern seems to have moved to travel and that is why the Washington D.C. event was cancelled last week.
“Are all the athletes that are eligible going to be allowed to come into the US? What happens after they leave the US? Are they going to have to quarantine afterwards? Remember the French Open is starting to play in the last few days of September so if there is something like a 21-day quarantine when you go back to your home country that could be really problematic.
“Last week we reported that the tournament hotel was changed, the athletes will not be staying at the JFK Hotel, they will move elsewhere.
“But as we speak, the US Open is on. It is going to be very different from previous years. It is not so much the Covid situation on the ground in New York anymore, the real concern has shifted to travel of these international athletes.”
The tennis season has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many tournaments have already been canceled and that includes the Wimbledon which is the 3rd Grand Slam of the year. Now, a decision regarding the US Open has to be taken and the director of the USTA presented some options.
The 2020 US Open
The CEO of the ATP along with the director of the USTA had a conference call with various tennis players. In the call, various options were presented on how to conduct the US Open and the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati before it. Here are the three options that were presented.
The first option is to conduct both the US Open and the Cincinnati at the Flushing Meadows. But that would mean that no qualifiers will be played at the US Open and the doubles’ draw would be reduced to 24 pairs.
the second option is to cancel the Masters 1000 event. This means that the US Open will be able to conduct qualifiers and also have full-sized doubles’ draws.
The third option will be the least popular one for fans and that option is to cancel both the Masters 1000 tournament and the Grand Slam in New York. This means that apart from the Australian Open, the French Open will be the only Slam played in 2020.
None of these options are perfect but I don’t think anyone expected them to be. If fans were allowed to pick one of these options, they will most probably pick the second one. This is because it involves the US Open being played without any sacrifices and people look forward to the Grand Slams more than any other tournament.
Sadly, this decision is not up to the fans, it is up to the governing bodies of tennis. And they will make a decision regarding the tournament depending on the situation with the coronavirus. They should make this decision soon and hopefully, the will not pick the 3rd option that was presented.