In the last few days, we have heard from two of the top players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, who have expressed pessimism on the prospects of playing the US Open later this summer.
Last week, Nadal said:
“If you ask me today, today I will say, ‘No’. In a couple of months? I don’t know. Hopefully, yes. But we need to wait probably until we have more clear information about the virus evolves and how the situation is going to be in New York in a couple of months. Because, of course, New York has been one of the places that have been very strongly hit by the virus.”
Over the weekend, Djokovic spoke to the press in Serbia and discussed the difficulties that would arise with the reported protocols that the US Open would implement.
“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme. We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week. Also, we could bring one person to the club, which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.”
Djokovic went on to say that he understand the economic ramifications of the tournament, but wasn’t sure how many other players would be on board for this plan.
“They want the tournament to go ahead at any cost for economic reasons, which I understand. But the question is, how many players are willing to accept those terms?”
One player has already come out and said that not all players agree with Djokovic or Nadal., and that is great Britain’s Daniel Evans, who said not all players share that sentiment.
“I don’t think having one person of your team allowed is such a big deal—the majority of the draw would only travel with one coach,” said Evans. “Not everyone’s traveling with physios and fitness trainers like Novak said, so I think his argument there is not really valid for the rest of the draw, apart from the real top guys.”
The USTA has said that an announcement on the US Open will come down at the end of this month, and the viewpoints shared from some of the players over the last week are an indication that there is still many components that need to be worked out before the US Open, as well as other tournaments, can be played.