The chances of the 2020 US Open getting hosted in New York appear to be receding because of the coronavirus pandemic situation but it doesn’t mean the tournament will be cancelled.
According to Michael Dowse, the executive director of USTA, which is the organisation that is in charge of the US Open, the tournament could be moved to another city like the Indian Wells. There is also a possibility the US Open will be played in November.
Currently, the US Open is slotted to be played in New York from the last week of August, and go on till September 13. The major issue, however, is whether the city will be ready to host the tournament given what has transpired in the last few weeks.
The situation is such that the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York has been turned into a hospital ward for those suffering from this infection.
And while the US Open authorities have said they wouldn’t be taking any decisions till June, the possibility of a US Open played as scheduled earlier seems to be receding by the day.
One alternative to the current schedule is hosting the event at the venue of the Indian Wells Open in the state of California which hasn’t seen as drastic an effect of the virus as New York.
And speaking to Inside Tennis, Dowse said while a lot of the current talk around the organisation of US Open was nothing but speculation, he admitted they would be considering all possibilities.
“Nothing, is off the table. There’s too much speculation – we’ll know so much more in June. In reality it’s certainly possible to play without fans.”
“No formal decision has been made about Indian Wells. Whatever we do, we’ll have to do it in alignment with the owners of Indian Wells, and the ATP and the WTA. These days the most energy is on social distancing.”
The Indian Wells Open is played in March each year and is often referred to as the “fifth Slam”. This year’s Indian Wells Open was the first high-profile ATP and WTA tournament to be cancelled after the outbreak of the deadly virus.
Dowse said while the organisers would love for the tournament to be played one way or the other, they wouldn’t want to jeopardise the health of those involved, including the players, staff and fans.