New York Gov. Andrew Como said the US Open will be held between August 31 and September 13 without fans as part of the state’s efforts to ease restrictions imposed months ago on fighting the Corona virus.
Como added that the American game association would take “extraordinary precautions” to protect players and all participants in the major tournament, including extensive testing and additional cleansing and cleaning operations.
Despite the concerns of a number of prominent players from participating in the tournament due to the epidemic, the American Tennis Federation said it hoped to hold the major tournament on time after obtaining approval from state officials.
Professional tennis has stalled since March due to the Corona pandemic, the tournament schedule has been severely damaged and the stoppage will extend until August.
Wimbledon was canceled while the French Open postponed to September and is due to start a week after the men’s singles final in the US Open.
“We realize the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the most prominent international sporting events after the resumption of activity in these difficult times, and we will do so in the safest way to minimize any potential risks,” said Mike Doss, CEO of the American Tennis Association.
World number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Rafael Nadal and other players expressed their concerns about participating in the tournament scheduled in New York.
Nadal said earlier this month that he would not travel to open America under the current circumstances, while Djokovic said it would be impossible to participate in Flushing Meadows due to the “overly strict” Covid-19 protocol announced by the organizers.
Open America takes place annually in New York City, which was badly affected by the virus. The USFP Billy Jin King National Tennis Center has been converted into a makeshift hospital for treating people with the epidemic.
Last year’s edition reached a record high of 740,000 spectators.
Australian Nick Kerryos accused the American Tennis Federation of “selfishness” to insist the tournament be held on time.
Como’s decision comes a week after the American Tennis Federation announced to cut jobs and close its office in White Plains, New York, as part of austerity measures due to the repercussions of the Covid-19 epidemic.
In a statement, the federation added that these measures are necessary to counter the long-term negative financial impacts of the pandemic and to ensure that the US Open Tennis tournament remains at the highest level.