Former Champion Serena Williams ‘cannot wait’ to play in this year’s US Open: Fears that strict well being protocols because of the COVID-19 outbreak may deter the sport’s largest names from competing at this yr’s U.S. Open had been considerably allayed on Wednesday when Serena Williams confirmed she’s going to play the New York occasion.
Former Champion Serena Williams ‘cannot wait’ to play in this year’s US Open
Williams, in a video message performed throughout a United States Tennis Affiliation news convention to announce that its marquee match will probably be performed from Aug. 31-Sept. 13 with out followers, mentioned she misses the thrill of competitors.
“Finally, I actually can not wait to return to New York and play the U.S. Open 2020,” the seven-times champion mentioned.
“I really feel just like the USTA goes to do a very good job of guaranteeing all the pieces is wonderful and all the pieces is ideal and everyone seems to be protected.”
Quite a few high gamers, together with world quantity ones Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Australian Ash Barty together with reigning U.S. Open males’s champion Rafa Nadal, are amongst those that have expressed issues about attending the U.S. Open.
One sticking level is the variety of help employees they will convey on website, which the USTA mentioned it’s nonetheless attempting to kind out.
The choice will affect the higher echelon of gamers who sometimes journey to occasions with a coach, hitting associate, physiotherapist and health guru.
“We perceive the wants of athletes,” U.S. Open match director Stacey Allaster mentioned throughout a video convention from the centre courtroom at Arthur Ashe Stadium. “We simply must guarantee that we navigate bodily distancing and be sure that we preserve everybody unfold out and in addition everybody will get the right coaching and preparation that they want.”
Allaster additionally mentioned gamers who don’t wish to keep at one of many two designated resorts can hire properties within the New York space however can not keep in Manhattan.
‘UNDERSTANDING THE RISK’
The Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Middle, residence to the U.S. Open, may even host the Western & Southern Open, which is often held in Ohio, from Aug. 22-28 as a part of efforts to stem the unfold of the virus.
Testing will probably be carried out earlier than travelling to the USA and 1-2 occasions per week at each occasions together with each day temperature checks.
Throughout the U.S. Open, which this yr won’t embrace a blended doubles match, gamers and visitors should put on masks when onsite except practising or competing.
There will probably be linespersons for matches inside each Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium however none on the opposite courts, the place a chair umpire will work with the digital line-calling system HawkEye Dwell.
Ought to an athlete take a look at optimistic, they are going to be remoted and cared for by a USTA medical skilled who will decide whether or not remedy may be achieved on the lodge or if the person must be hospitalised.
“All of us go into this understanding the danger and our accountability,” Allaster mentioned. “As in yearly, the well being and properly being of our athletes, their security is paramount to our medical crew and will probably be unwavering throughout this occasion.”