With the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic increasing day by day, uncertainty is the new constant now. Over 7 million people have been diagnosed with the Covid-19, with 2 million people alone in the United States of America.
This raises questions on the timeline of the grand slams at this moment. With French Open being moved to October and Wimbledon cancelled, the nearest Grand Slam event to be held is the US Open which commences on August 31st of this year.
Recently, World Number 1, Novak Djokovic has stated his concern about whether he would be attending the tournament or not. Earlier this season, he indicated to skip the US Open in lieu of preparation for the French-Open.
The three time US Open champion states how he along with other players are not very secure about going to the United States, given the fact that how highly rampant Covid-19 has been there. He said, “Most of the players I’ve talked to were quite negative on whether they would go there. For me currently, as things stand, most probably the season will continue on clay at the beginning of September.”
If the tournament does take place, the guidelines issued by Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) raise severe issues for players. With limited movement in the New York City, Djokovic states that it would not be sustainable for players.
Other guidelines include:
- A 14 day quarantine required for people arriving from outside the United States
- Restricted access to courts, implying no training periods in between matches
- Limit of one person per competitor in matches, instead of large entourages some players travel with
- Sanitization and disinfectant protocols
The World Number 1 said, “It would be impossible for players to only travel with one member of their team.”
“Each player would at least need a coach, a fitness trainer and a physiotherapist” he stated.
However, these comments have faced criticism from British Tennis star Dan Evans, stated that the Serbian’s statement applies to only a tiny percentage of players attending the tour.
“I don’t think having one person of your team allowed only is such a big deal- majority of the draw would travel with one coach. Not everyone is travelling with physiotherapists and trainers like Novak,” Evans told BBC 5 live.
The US Tennis Association is expected to make a decision as soon as next week about whether to hold the US Open, which is scheduled to begin on August 31st.