Djokovic Admits ‘Very Close To Not Coming’ To US Open

WASHINGTON, August 21, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic admits he was “very close to not coming,” to New York to play in the Masters 1000 Western & Southern Open and US Open, both being held under strict health and safety protocols in a “bubble” at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

As Christopher Clarey, tennis correspondent for The New York Times reports in an exclusive interview, Djokovic decided to go to New York less than a week before he arrived and “only after players were given guarantees by European governments that they would not be expected to quarantine when they traveled to Europe after the US Open.”

As Djokovic told Clarey in a Zoom call: “There were a lot of uncertainties. And there still are, yeah, a lot of things that are not really clear.

“I want to play. I mean that’s why I’m here. I am personally not afraid of being in a risky, dangerous health situation for myself. If I felt that way, I most likely would not be here. I am cautious of course, and I have to be responsible and of course respect the regulations and rules and restrictions as anybody else. But things are unpredictable. Anything can happen in the tennis court or off the tennis court.”

Guido Pella, Hugo Dellien withdrawn from W&S Open

Late Wednesday evening, Stephanie Myles, whose Open Court blog is a must read, broke news that the non-player who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday was reported to be Juan Galván, who is the physical trainer for South American players Guido Pella of Argentina and Hugo Dellien from Bolivia. She sited Argentine tennis writer Sevastián Torok as the source “who put it out there before the players themselves.”

The fallout is that because Pella and Dellien had been in close and prolonged contact with Galván, they have to be quarantined. The players are not experiencing any symptoms. As Myles reported, “The result of the positive test for Galván, who reportedly is asymptomatic and in good shape, is that they players he had contact with must quarantine for 14 days. Thus, they are out of the ‘Cincinnati’ tournament.” 

Galván’s roommate has to quarantine. It is reported to be José Acasuso, a former touring player, who is the coach of Pella.

Western & Southern Open – 178 days later, the ATP Tour is back

Wild card J.J. Wolf of the United States defeated No. 69 Egor Gerasimov of Belarus, 6-3, 6-1, in 52 minutes to become the first of 48 qualifying draw matches in the Western & Southern Open to finish on Thursday at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., on Thursday. The 144th-ranked Wolf from Cincinnati, Ohio, broke his opponent four times and outpointed him 54-31 to advance to the next round against No. 105 Jaume Munar of Spain.

Men’s top seed Gilles Simon of France defeated alternate Taro Daniel from Japan, 6-3, 6-3. Next, he will face American wild card Sebastian Korda, who beat 15th seed Attila Balazs of Hungary. Meanwhile, women’s top seed Jil Teichmann of Switzerland advanced with 6-2, 6-2 win over Aliona Bolsova of Spain. Next, she will face 22nd seed American Shelby Rogers, who beat Margarita Gasparyan of Russia, 6-3, 7-6 (3).

The Grandstand, which is the third-largest court at the National Tennis Center, is designated as the main show court for the Western & Southern Open.

Coco Gauff is in the “bubble” 

Top Seed Open champion Jennifer Brady

Lexington champion Jennifer Brady is back on the court for the Western & Southern Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Borna Coric – Full court player 

Kristina Mladenovic – Enjoying the “bubble” life

The Way Back Machine – 2004 Olympic Games’s Joel Drucker looks back on the 2004 Olympic women’s semifinal between Justin Henin of Belgium and Russia’s Anastasia Myskina, won the Belgian. Henin would go on to win the gold medal.

As Drucker writes:

“Picture someone with the flair of Roger Federer and the intensity of Rafael Nadal. Make her 5’ 6” tall, hardly physically imposing—which meant nothing to her. Or maybe it meant everything, the trigger to her grand synthesis of skill and will. This was Belgian Justine Henin, speaker of three words that would become an adidas tagline: ‘Impossible is nothing.'”

What they’re sharing on social media

Amanda Anisimova / Happy to be back …

Julia Goerges / Unleashing her power 

Daniil Medvedev / Flying mode

Naomi Osaka / Hi New York, it’s good to be back!

Sloane Stephens / Whole squad ready

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Whole squad ready 😤 #ciNcYtennis

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