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US Open to go ahead without fans, says New York Governor Cuomo

Last updated on: June 16, 2020 23:03 IST
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'It will be held without fans, but you can watch it on TV -- and I'll take that.'

IMAGE: No professional tennis tournaments have been held since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left the sport's calendar in tatters, and the shutdown will extend until August. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday gave the green light for the US Open to be held from August 31-September 13 without fans as part of the state’s reopening from shutdowns related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

"We are excited about the US Open, (which) is going to be held in Queens, August 31 through September 13. It will be held without fans, but you can watch it on TV -- and I'll take that," Cuomo said in his daily briefing.

While a number of top players had expressed concerns about attending the tournament due to the novel coronavirus, the USTA had said it hoped to go ahead with the event so long as it got approval from the state.

No professional tennis tournaments have been held since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left the sport's calendar in tatters, and the shutdown will extend until August.

Wimbledon was cancelled altogether while the French Open has been moved to September and is due to start one week after the scheduled US Open men’s final.

World number one Novak Djokovic and reigning US Open men's champion Rafael Nadal are among the players who have expressed concerns about attending the New York tournament.

Australian Nick Kyrgios on Monday blasted the USTA for being "selfish" by pressing ahead with the US Open on its original dates from August 31 to September 13.

Nadal said earlier this month he would not travel to the US Open in present circumstances, while Djokovic said playing the event this year would be impossible given "extreme" protocols that would be in place.

The US Open is held annually in New York City, which has been hit hard by the pandemic. The USTA’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was even turned into a temporary hospital to help in the battle against the virus.

Last year’s US Open drew an all-time attendance record of nearly 740,000 fans and the event is the engine that drives the governing USTA.

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