Will the US Open really take place? The question continues to animate the small world of tennis, stopped for four months. If the health situation seems to be improving in New York, which is to host the next lifting of the Grand Slam from August 31, it remains very worrying throughout the United States. The American federation (USTA), organizer, has no intention of giving up the test, planned without qualifications, behind closed doors and subjected to draconian restrictions. But many players, especially European, remain very reluctant to cross the Atlantic.
During a videoconference, Monday afternoon, ATP tried to reassure its troops. But she gave herself until the end of July to cancel the American tour, which is due to start on August 14 in Washington.
Can the tournament be held?
New York City has banned all major events until at least the end of September. Except the US Open. The state governor also gave the green light. For the time being, no administrative obstacle therefore stands in the way of the event. "What matters is that the US Open takes place," said John McEnroe on the BBC. Even if the number of cases explodes in Florida or elsewhere in the United States, in New York, the situation is better than before. Today I think the tournament will take place and the players will be as well protected as possible. In the absence of revenue from ticketing, catering or merchandising, the USTA intends to at least save television rights, which amount to around 70 million euros per year.
What are the announced conditions?
The USTA speaks of "extraordinary precautions". What Alizé Cornet, n ° 59 in the world, translated in our columns by “American excess”. Most of the participants will have to stay in a common hotel, the best ones however having the possibility of renting, at their expense, a private house. Everyone must be masked in the grounds of the Billie Jean King center, except in a game situation. Tests will be carried out once or twice a week and the temperature will be taken daily. No travel to Manhattan. Above all, each athlete can only be accompanied by one person (coach, physiotherapist, spouse, etc.). A big point of contention.
“In my opinion, this is a terrible mistake, says world No. 3, Dominic Thiem. They should allow us to bring three or four people. It is very risky to go to such important tournaments without your own physiotherapist. The figure of the coach is also very important and it is very complicated to have to choose between one or the other to accompany you. "
Who will participate?
Novak Djokovic is also saddened to see his areopagus reduced to its simplest expression. But the n ° 1 at ATP, which has already contracted the Covid-19, should make the trip with in sight a 18th major title. His dolphin, Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, is off to a good start ... to stay at home. The Spaniard, who is already training on clay, favors a 13th coronation at Roland-Garros (September 27 - October 11). And the new 22-month post-containment classification system will allow him to keep the points of his victory in New York last year until 2021.
Rafael Nadal would he definitely zapped the US Open?
El Toro was training on ... clay today.
(Video @lenkoveloove / Instagram) pic.twitter.com/XafQb08dr8
Tsitsipas speaks of "50-50". N ° 2 at the WTA, the Romanian Simona Halep does not hide her reluctance. Many Europeans remain expectant and would welcome the cancellation so as not to have to wonder about their participation. The Americans are delighted. "I am thrilled," says Tennys Sandgren, # 55 worldwide. And I think the US Open is bigger than a few players ... "
Can we chain US Open and Roland-Garros?
This is the big concern. Will we be able to easily return to the Old Continent after the end of its US Open? Roland-Garros begins two weeks after the New York final and some are afraid of having to observe a crippling quarantine on their return for the Parisian Grand Slam.
"There are a lot of unanswered questions," says Elina Svitolina, n ° 5 at the WTA and companion of Gaël Monfils. The Ukrainian does not wish to travel. After five months without official competition, you will have to be damn well prepared to be successful in two major events separated by a time difference (6 hours) and two Masters 1000 (Madrid and Rome). A finalist in Paris for the past two years, Thiem considers it almost “impossible to go far” at the US Open and Roland-Garros…