On Tuesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo gave permission for the USTA to host this year’s US Open, with the tournament scheduled to begin on time on August 31.
“The US Open will be held in Queens, NY, without fans from August 31 to September 13,” Cuomo said in a tweet from his official Governor account. “The USTA will take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff, including robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing and transportation.”
USTA’s Immediate Past President Katrina Adams said in a Wednesday press conference:
“The 2020 US Open will be played! In this tough and trying year, that’s not just great news, it’s remarkable news.”
As had been discussed previously, the event will be preceded by the Western and Southern Open, normally held in Cincinnati, Ohio, which will run from August 22-28. Because of that, there will be no US Open qualifying this year.
The USTA unveiled its health and safety plan for the two tournaments:
“Players are our biggest priority, and we plan to offer them a first-class experience. Given that there will be no fans on-site, there will be an abundance of space that will be used for player dining, player distancing protocols.”
The protocols outlined covered everything from the hotel accommodations, transportation, dining, locker rooms and testing procedures.
“Testing procedures have been developed with consultation from leading global infectious disease specialists, reviewed with ATP medical staff and doctors, and have been approved by local government.”
The total compensation for the two events will be $60 million, and $6.6 million will be split between the two tours to “support impacted qualifiers and doubles players through direct compensation and tournament subsidies to replace ranking opportunities.”
“We are incredibly excited that Governor Cuomo and New York State have today approved our plan to host the 2020 US Open and 2020 Western & Southern Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center,” USTA CEO and Executive Director Mike Dowse said in a statement. “We recognize the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times, and we will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks. We now can give fans around the world the chance to watch tennis’ top athletes compete for a US Open title, and we can showcase tennis as the ideal social distancing sport. Being able to hold these events in 2020 is a boost for the City of New York and the entire tennis landscape.”