The US Open organisers are monitoring the situation and will decide on whether or not the competition will go ahead, in June.
However, vitally, the chances of playing the competition to closed doors aren’t as high with the the organisers looking at a medical advisory group they have set up to help them take a call.
This year’s US Open has been scheduled to start off from August 31 but with the coronavirus pandemic having sadly hit USA and in particular New York City so hard, the situation has been grim.
Multiple tennis tournaments including Wimbledon have already been cancelled this year and the tennis tours have been suspended till mid-July. The WTA Rogers Cup, which was to be played in August, has also been pushed to next year.
USTA chief executive Mike Dowse revealed the decision around the tournament hosting will be taken in June and all options were still very much on. However, he did admit it’s improbable the tournament would be open to playing without fans.
“That’s not really in the spirit of the celebration of tennis, and it also goes back to the health and wellbeing of our players and support staff that help run the tournament.”
“Unless the medical experts come up with a solution that truly is foolproof and safe, we don’t see that as an option.”
The last year of US Open saw nearly 750,000 fans watch the tournament over the fortnight and the loss of revenue following a decision to play it to closed stadium would be big.
One other option is for the competition to be held in autumn – around October 2020 – but all that is still subject to a medical clearance. The French Open has already been postponed to a week after the end of the US Open, but the situation would need to improve drastically between now and then for both these Grand Slams to go ahead.
Former players like Amelie Mauresmo have already voiced their concerns about playing any tennis till a vaccine for the virus is found. Others have admitted it would be difficult for a sport like tennis to get back on its feet as quickly as other sports given the amount of travel involved for multiple number of players, unlike, say football.
The Madrid Open competition, which was to be played in the first week of May, has come up with an innovative idea though. They have organised a virtual tennis gaming competition called the Madrid Open Virtual Pro which will see 32 of the best men and women’s tennis players feature in an eSports of tennis. This tournament will be played between April 27 and 30.