Serena Williams, Djokovic to Play 2020 US Open in NY

Ruben Hill
August 5, 2020

The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, and it looks like we still don't have control of it.

The US Open is scheduled to start on August 31 at Flushing Meadows in NY, with organisers adamant the Grand Slam will go ahead behind closed doors despite United States of America being the worst-hit country regarding coronavirus, with more than 150,000 deaths and 4.8m confirmed cases as of August 4.

Meanwhile, Australian Nick Kyrgios said over the weekend he won't feature at the US Open as well. The US Tennis Association's entry list announcements Tuesday noted that 2019 women's champion Bianca Andreescu is in the field - at least for now; players can withdraw until the start of play - but made no mention of Nadal.

Ashleigh Barty, the world's No. 1 women's singles player, announced last week that because of the pandemic, she would not compete in the tournament, which starts August 31.

The Madrid Open, which was scheduled to take place from September 12-20, was cancelled on Tuesday due to the rise of COVID-19 cases in the Spanish capital.

Nadal, 34, defeated Russia's Daniil Medvedev in a five-set thriller in last year's final at Flushing Meadows, and could have eyed the chance to equal Roger Federer's all-time haul of 20 Grand Slam titles in NY this year. Most of Court's titles came before the Open Era, including Australian Opens that didn't include numerous world's top players.

Those precautions are set to include player accommodation being provided for a maximum of two people, charter flights to bring stars to the tournament and the wearing of masks at US Open facilities.

Nadal had been widely rumored to be considering his participation at the Grand Slam, although he had been pictured back on court in recent weeks for his first serious tune-up sessions since the suspension of tennis at the start of the pandemic. Nadal's name was entered last week on the US Open tune-up tournament, the ATP/WTA Western and Southern Open, which will be held in NY this year instead of Cincinnati.

They should be even tighter for Cincinnati and the US Open (both held in New York), and some players are not ready to travel to the States in these conditions.

NY hospitals saw more than 18,000 patients with COVID-19 at a time in mid-April when infections surged and more than 750 patients with the illness died each day in hospitals and nursing homes.

The USTA is planning a doubleheader of sorts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. In June, Nadal warned he would not consider playing the US Open unless he was satisfied conditions were "completely safe".

The four-time victor at Flushing Meadows does not want to travel to the United States for the event, which begins on 31 August, while Covid-19 cases are on the rise.

That is supposed to be followed by the US Open itself.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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