The 2020 US Open is still on but ‘final, final decision’ set to be made soon

US Open
Empty Arthur Ashe Stadium at Flushing Meadows - US Open

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is set to make a “final, final decision” on whether or not go ahead with the 2020 US Open on Friday, according to journalist Jon Wertheim.

USTA confirmed in mid-June that the hard-court Grand Slam will go ahead as planned from August 31 to September 13, but it will be a closed-doors event with strict health and safety protocols to minimise the spread of the coronavirus.

However, doubts remain over the event and world No 1 Ashleigh Barty on Thursday became the highest-profile player to confirm that she won’t compete at Flushing Meadows this year.

The likes of world No 2 Simona Halep and fellow Grand Slam winners Angelique Kerber have also indicated that they are unlikely to travel to the United States.

Speaking before Barty’s announcement, Sports Illustrated senior writer Jon Wertheim revealed that the tournament is still on as things stand, but a final decision is still to be made.

“So far the US Open is on [but] we are going to have a final, final decision on Friday July 31st,” he told SI.com.

“Right now the concerns are not about the health and safety in the region, New York is trending in the right direction. The real concern seems to have moved to travel and that is why the Washington D.C. event was cancelled last week.

“Are all the athletes that are eligible going to be allowed to come into the US? What happens after they leave the US? Are they going to have to quarantine afterwards? Remember the French Open is starting to play in the last few days of September so if there is something like a 21-day quarantine when you go back to your home country that could be really problematic.

“Last week we reported that the tournament hotel was changed, the athletes will not be staying at the JFK Hotel, they will move elsewhere.

“But as we speak, the US Open is on. It is going to be very different from previous years. It is not so much the Covid situation on the ground in New York anymore, the real concern has shifted to travel of these international athletes.”

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