ESPN: USTA Still Plans On-Time Start For US Open

On the grounds of the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, 2019 (photo: Michael Dickens)

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Per ESPN.com’s Peter Bodo, the United States Tennis Association still plans an on-time start to this year’s US Open with strict protocols in place due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Bodo’s story posted on ESPN’s website Monday morning.

The US Open main draw is scheduled to begin on August 31 and run through September 13 at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

A source told ESPN, there will be a reshuffling of the pro tennis calendar beginning in August, done with the blessing of both the ATP and WTA tours. It starts with the Western & Southern Open, an ATP Masters 1000/WTA Premier 5 mixed event in Mason, Ohio, near Cincinnati, shifting its location to New York to create back-to-back events at the Billie Jean King USTA National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. It also means that the Citi Open in Washington, D.C., also a combined ATP 500/WTA International event, would be pushed back from August 3 to start on August 16, the original start date of the Cincinnati event. The Rogers Cup men’s Masters 1000 event in Toronto will go unplayed and the ATP 250 Winston-Salem Open, scheduled the week before the US Open, will be cancelled.

While New York City, a focal point of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., is still very much in the midst of managing the novel Covid-19 virus, the US Open will implement strict health protocols, “with testing regimens and restrictions of the movement and activities of players while they are in New York. Fans will be prohibited at the event,” writes Bodo.

Once they get the go-ahead from local and state health officials in New York, it appears the USTA will formally announce it plans, per ESPN.

Chris Widmaier, USTA Director of communications told ESPN, “We’re following each step in the [restart] procedure in the great hope that we can announce that the 2020 US Open will be played in its regularly scheduled date. We hope to make an announcement in the very near future.”