Gov. Andrew Cuomo: US Open will start in August without fans

·Writer

The US Open will go on as scheduled in August but without fans, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday in his daily news briefing on the COVID-19 crisis in the state.

Cuomo’s support gives credence to reports the United States Tennis Association (USTA) planned to hold the event in Queens as scheduled. It had to get clearance from the state and will take place Aug. 31 through Sept. 13.

The US Open will protects participants with “robust testing,” cleaning, extra locker room space and dedicated housing and transportation that would help them remain in a bubble.

The ATP and WTA announced in May that the pause in play would run through at least through July. Some players have already raised concerns about playing the US Open with the regulations necessary. The area was one of the hardest hit cities in the country and the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was used as a temporary hospital. But the area has seen steep declines in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks whereas cases are climbing in other states.

US Open will be second Grand Slam of 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the OK for the US Open to be played starting in August in Queens. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the OK for the US Open to be played starting in August in Queens. (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The US Open typically closes the tennis Grand Slam calendar, but this year it will be the second Slam to take place. The Australian Open went on as scheduled in February.

The French Open was postponed from its May start date and is scheduled for a week after the conclusion of the US Open. Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II in 1945.

Rafael Nadal and Bianca Andreescu are the reigning US Open champions in men’s and women’s singles, respectively.

Who will be at U.S Open?

The event will go on, but it’s unclear which star participants will be there. Many players already criticized the decision to go forward with the tournament before it got the go-ahead.

Roger Federer, currently ranked fourth in the world, is out for the rest of 2020 due to an injured knee. But many others might miss due to the situation.

Novak Djokovic isn’t happy with the “extreme” rules that would be in place.

"The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme,” the men’s world No. 1 said last week. “We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.

"Also, we could bring one person to the club, which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist."

Nadal was also hesitant, saying players need to be responsible and make sure the “situation is safe enough.”

Beyond safety concerns, there is the issue of international travel. Many borders are closed across the world to prevent any more spread of the virus. And for those who are traveling, there is required two-week quarantines. Nick Kyrgios called it “selfish” for organizers to hold the US Open under such a situation.

Women’s world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty was also public about her concern for safety and No. 2 Simona Halep’s coach also called the regulations “incredibly difficult” to navigate.

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