The US Open may not have the big three on the men’s side, but it will have the big star on the women’s side.
Serena Williams is planning to take part in the major tournament, she said during a virtual press conference in which US Open organizers addressed the plan to stage the event without fans amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Ultimately, I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020,” the 23-time Grand Slam champion said Wednesday via a video conference call. “I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is amazing and everyone is safe.
“It’s gonna be exciting. It’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis. I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong. Just being out there with that New York crowd and hear everyone cheer, I’ll really miss that in some of those tough matches. But this is crazy, I’m excited.”
Roger Federer will not compete after undergoing knee surgery and Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have expressed concerns about coming to Queens for the tournament because of the virus and the limitations that will be placed on players.
“We are going to have incredible star power. We respect that all athletes are making their own decisions. There are a lot of questions,” tournament director Stacey Allaster said. “Athletes have been training and now they really are going to be training to return to play and as this whole situation with the virus evolves, here in New York City and around the world, athletes will make that final determination two-to-three weeks before.”
During Wednesday’s press conference, it was announced players will be able to bring up to three players with them and have two hotel rooms, one paid for by the USTA. It’s uncertain how many guests will be able to come to the grounds with them. The plan is not to have media on site and players will be tested up to twice a week and upon arrival. There will also be daily temperature checks and symptom questionnaires. The players and guests will be required to wear masks at all times, except for when they are practicing or competing.