US Open 2020: No set guidelines for calling off Grand Slam by USTA if COVID-19 outbreak

USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said his group and its representatives are in touch with the WTA, ATP, the French tennis federation and government officials in Italy and France about quarantine concerns.

The Associated Press August 08, 2020 10:04:47 IST
US Open 2020: No set guidelines for calling off Grand Slam by USTA if COVID-19 outbreak

A player testing positive for COVID-19 will be dropped from the US Open, but the US Tennis Association has not established how many infected participants would force the Grand Slam tournament to be called off.

According to a 10½-page "Player Q&A Update" sent out this week by the USTA, "There are no guidelines available to determine what number (of positive tests) will compel" the cancellation of the US Open or the tournament that will precede it at Flushing Meadows this month amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Western & Southern Open, usually held in Cincinnati, is slated for the hard courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center from 20-28 August, followed by the US Open from 31 August to 13 September. No spectators will be allowed at either tournament.

As the USTA moves forward, players are announcing withdrawals because of the pandemic.

No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine, a 2019 U.S. Open semifinalist, and No. 7 Kiki Bertens of Netherlands wrote on social media Friday that they won't be in New York. They join a growing list of absentees that already included the No. 1-ranked woman, Ash Barty, the defending men's champion, Rafael Nadal, and others such as Stan Wawrinka and Nick Kyrgios.

Bertens cited concerns about needing to quarantine when returning to Europe for clay-court tournaments in Rome and Paris that are scheduled for after the US Open. Players have asked the USTA to provide a transit letter that would allow them to bypass a quarantine period when going from New York to Europe.

USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said Friday his group and its representatives are in touch with the WTA, ATP, the French tennis federation and government officials in Italy and France about the issue.

"We are confident that working with this extended group, we will be able to get the assurances the players would like," Widmaier wrote in an email.

Among the coronavirus-related protocols explained in this week's USTA update for players:

— Players and guests — up to three per entrant in singles — must pass two coronavirus nasal swab tests 48 hours apart after arriving, although they're allowed to go to the tournament site if the first test comes back negative. "We anticipate results will be returned in 24 hours or less," the USTA document says.

— Antibody tests are encouraged, but not required. Those who test positive for antibodies will take follow-up COVID-19 tests every seven days; those with negative results for antibodies — or who aren't checked — must take COVID-19 tests every four days for the rest of their time in the "bubble."

— Players need written permission from tournament director Stacy Allaster or the chief medical officer to leave the "bubble" established for both events at Flushing Meadows — otherwise, they'll be fined and kicked out of the competition. If coaches or guests exit the "bubble," they'll lose their 2020 credential and not be allowed to get one next year.

— Aside from two official hotels for players and their guests, there will be private housing available for rent. Anyone staying there will undergo the same initial testing procedures and then will need further nasal swabs every four days, the USTA said, "unless the medical team determines otherwise."

— Players staying at rental homes need to have — and pay for — 24-hour security, and the USTA "must be provided with access to the external security egress and ingress information for the duration of the time in the private housing."

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

US Open 2020: Dominic Thiem becomes first man to overturn two set deficit in 71 years at American Grand Slam, and more stats
Sports

US Open 2020: Dominic Thiem becomes first man to overturn two set deficit in 71 years at American Grand Slam, and more stats

Dominic Thiem vs Alexander Zverev at the US Open was decided by a fifth-set tiebreaker, something that had never happened in the final.

US Open 2020: Fourth time's the charm for Dominic Thiem, Naomi Osaka builds on and off the court, and more talking points
Sports

US Open 2020: Fourth time's the charm for Dominic Thiem, Naomi Osaka builds on and off the court, and more talking points

US Open 2020 crowned a first-time champion in Dominic Thiem and a third Grand Slam winner in Naomi Osaka in the bubble in New York.

US Open 2020: Not how you start, but how you finish, says Serena Williams in comeback win to move into semis
Sports

US Open 2020: Not how you start, but how you finish, says Serena Williams in comeback win to move into semis

Serena Williams hit 20 aces, her most in a match in eight years — to end up on the right side of a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 score after more than two hours.