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They propose to play the US Open in August, without an audience

They propose to play the US Open in August, without an audience

The United States Tennis Association plans to hold the US Open in New York in August, without spectators, if it receives support from the government.

Like other sports, tennis suspended its tournaments in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The French Open was postponed from May to September and the Wimbledon tournament was canceled.

“We are ready to take this step if the proposal is approved,” Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said in a telephone interview Monday.

“Three factors must be taken into account,” he added. “First, create a plan that prioritizes health and safety. Second, to analyze if holding the US Open is the best for tennis, and third to see if it can be done in a way that is economically viable. We believe we can meet those three goals. “

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“But you have to go step by step. When everything is in place, we will make an official announcement there, “he said.

The idea is that there are no spectators to avoid contagions, reduce the number of companions of each player, centralized accommodations, deep cleaning of the stadium in Flushing Meadows and carry out tests for COVID-19.

Under the proposal, there will be no qualifying tournaments in singles. Players who have qualified will receive financial compensation. Instead of holding a qualifying tournament, the Cincinnati tournament (August 16-23) will be played in New York.

Widmaier said a presentation was made to New York state authorities and they now await a response.

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In the event that the tournament takes place, it would be necessary to see who participates. Both Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty, who top the rankings for the male and female branches respectively, have expressed reservations about the idea of ​​going to New York. So did last year’s champion Rafael Nadal. And another great attraction, Roger Federer, is ruled out by an operation on his right knee.

Djokovic said last week that “extreme” measures are planned and that “most of the players I spoke to were reluctant to go there.”

The Association wants to incorporate more changing rooms, including indoor courts where hundreds of hospital beds were installed in the worst of the coronavirus outbreak in New York, and improve the filtration system in existing spaces. It was also proposed to restrict access to the changing rooms: Only players who have matches will be able to enter. In other words, if someone goes to train, “they come, practice and go back to their hotel,” without changing or showering, said tournament director Stacey Allaster. AP (HN)

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