US Open fate to be decided by June, but ‘highly unlikely’ to be staged without fans

US Open Flushing Meadows

The United States Tennis Association (USTA) says it has “time on its side” with regards to making a decision about whether or not to stage this year’s US Open, adding that they are unlikely to host the event behind closed doors.

Tennis has been on a hiatus since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic and officials have earmarked July 13 as a possible return dates, leading to the cancellation of Wimbledon while the French Open was moved to September.

The US Open is scheduled to start on August 31 at Flushing Meadows in New York, but the powers that be have admitted that there is no guarantee that competitive tennis will return in three months’ time.

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USTA chief executive Mike Dowse says there is no need to make a decision before June and revealed they are not keen on playing without fans.

“Time is on our side at this point. Obviously our ambition is to run the tournament,” he said.

“Playing without spectators, we’re not taking anything off the table right now, but to be honest and open, I think that’s highly unlikely,” he said.

“That’s not really in the spirit of the celebration of tennis. It also goes back to the health and well-being of not just the spectators but of our players and support staff that help run the tournament.

“Things are fluid. If the medical experts come back and say here is a foolproof way of running a very safe tournament, unfortunately it has to be without fans, we may reconsider and look at it at this point.

“Today it’s just too early to kind of speculate on what the exact specifics will be at that time.”

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