New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo stated Tuesday the U.S. Open tennis match shall be held on its scheduled dates beginning in late August — however with out spectators — as a part of the state’s reopening from shutdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The U.S. Tennis Affiliation had determined to go ahead with its marquee occasion in New York Metropolis, pending an OK from the state.
“We’re excited concerning the U.S. Open, (which) goes to be held in Queens, Aug. 31 by means of Sept. 13. It will likely be held with out followers, however you possibly can watch it on TV — and I’ll take that,” Cuomo stated at his day by day briefing in Albany. “The tennis authorities are going to be taking extraordinary precautions, however that’s going to happen.”
Like many sports activities leagues, the skilled tennis excursions have been suspended since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, wiping out greater than 40 occasions across the globe.
Quickly after Cuomo’s look, USTA CEO Mike Dowse launched an announcement confirming that the hard-court tuneup match usually held in Cincinnati in August would transfer to the Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Heart in Flushing Meadows earlier than the U.S. Open.
“We acknowledge the great duty of internet hosting one of many first international sporting occasions in these difficult occasions,” Dowse stated, “and we’ll accomplish that within the most secure method potential, mitigating all potential dangers.”
The U.S. Open usually is every season’s fourth and last Grand Slam match however can be the second of 2020, following the Australian Open, which concluded in early February.
The French Open was postponed from Might and at present is scheduled to begin every week after the U.S. Open ends. Wimbledon was canceled altogether for the primary time since World Warfare II in 1945.
Even with the go-ahead from the state, one vital query stays for the U.S. Open: Which gamers truly will take part?
Such high names as each No. 1-ranked gamers, Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty, and defending males’s champion Rafael Nadal, have expressed reservations about heading to Flushing Meadows, the place an indoor tennis facility was used as a short lived house for a whole lot of hospital beds on the top of town’s coronavirus disaster.
Already dominated out, regardless: Roger Federer, who has gained 5 of his males’s-record 20 Grand Slam singles titles on the U.S. Open however introduced just lately that he’s out for the remainder of the yr after needing a second arthroscopic surgical procedure on his proper knee.
With worldwide TV contracts — together with an annual common of $70 million from ESPN alone — serving to offset the lack of cash from ticket gross sales and different onsite income, and going through a recession that already led to the current elimination of greater than 100 jobs on the USTA, the affiliation’s board determined to go ahead with the U.S. Open regardless of issues about COVID-19 and worldwide journey.
Cuomo opened Tuesday’s information convention by touting “excellent news on the numbers, excellent news on the info” in New York, which he stated now has its lowest variety of coronavirus-related hospitalizations for the reason that outbreak started.
The USTA plan shared together with his authorities contains restricted participant entourages; assigned accommodations; elevated cleansing on the match grounds; further locker room area; day by day temperature checks and occasional testing for COVID-19.
There can be no qualifying for singles and certain lowered fields for doubles. Gamers whose rankings would have put them in qualifying rounds that enable some women and men entry to the 128-player singles attracts shall be compensated with funds the USTA will move alongside to the ATP and WTA excursions to distribute.
Final week, Djokovic stated the restrictions that may be in place for the U.S. Open due to the virus can be “excessive.”
“Many of the gamers I’ve talked to had been fairly unfavorable on whether or not they would go there,” Djokovic stated.
He hosted exhibition matches with packed stands final week in his house nation of Serbia, the place the federal government lifted most virus restrictions final month.