The US Open will go ahead as scheduled this year but in a restricted manner and the reactions to it have been largely varied.
Former world number one and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has given the US Open organisers a pat on the back and committed herself to the tournament while 10-time wheelchair tennis winner at the majors, Dylan Alcott has panned them for culling the three of the events at the tournament.
The organisers announced the tournament would go ahead in a highly restricted manner to try and reduce the impact of coronavirus but that has meant there would be no qualifiers for the singles draw, no mixed doubles, juniors or wheelchair competition either.
Serena’s decision to back the competition by releasing a statement almost as soon as the tournament go-ahead was announced, will give the tournament a huge fillip. She said:
“I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020. I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe. It’s going to be exciting.”
The American was the finalist at both, the 2018 and 2019 US Open, losing to Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu respectively. Her sixth and last triumph at Flushing Meadows came in 2014 when she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in the final.
Meanwhile, two-time US Open winner Alcott called US Open’s decision to drop the wheelchair competition as a ‘disgusting discrimination’.
Tweeting out his frustration at the decision Alcott also said:
“And please do not tell me I am a ‘greater risk’ because I am disabled. I am disabled yes but that does not make me SICK. I am fitter and healthier than nearly everybody reading this right now. There are no added risks.”
And it’s not just the singles wheelchair champion who was left seething. Some like Gabriela Dabrowski, who is the seventh-ranked doubles player in the world, isn’t happy the tournament is going ahead as planned despite the threat from coronavirus.
In another tweet, the Canadian Dabrowski wasn’t too happy with the manner in which the US Open authorities “presented their plans”, calling it akin to selling an idea. She said the accuracy of testing was deemed to be 90% by the organisers while it was only 70% and admitted being skeptical about the idea to enforce a bubble for the players.
She also criticised the organisers for not having qualifiers, mixed doubles and reducing the doubles to half the draw.
— Gaby Dabrowski (@GabyDabrowski) June 16, 2020
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are yet to comment on the situation while Roger Federer has already called off his season because of a flare-up of his knee injury.
Meanwhile the ATP and WTA tours also released an updated tour schedule which is subject to the pandemic situation at the time. You can find it here.