AAP Tennis

USTA preparing for US Open to go ahead

By AAP Newswire

The US Tennis Association insists it's fully intending to go ahead with the US Open later this month despite coronavirus cases spiking across the country.

The tournament which is usually the year's last grand slam tournament of the year is scheduled to run from August 31 to September 13 and will take place after the Western & Southern Open on August 20-28.

That event has been moved to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre from Cincinnati as part of a double-header organised by the USTA.

A statement released by the USTA said: "We remain confident that our top priority, the health and safety of all involved in both tournaments, remains on track."

While Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka have said she will be at both events, world No.1 Ashleigh Barty is staying away.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have not made their plans known.

The USTA statement added that details of its health and safety plan will be released closer to the start of competition.

The group said it is working with the WTA and ATP tours.

The USTA is putting most players and their limited entourages in specific hotels - creating something of a bubble environment - but also is allowing participants to rent private houses.

Professional tennis has been on hold since March with the women's tour is supposed to return next week with a tournament in Palermo, Italy.

"New York State continues to be one of the safest places in the country as it relates to the COVID-19 virus," the USTA said.

"We are constantly and continually monitoring the situation.

"Right now in New York, the situation has improved dramatically. The state has done a tremendous job containing the coronavirus.

"We also are making tremendous progress in international travel, not only for coming to New York but travelling from here to Europe and elsewhere."