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Evans: Novak, Rafa Should Play US Open


Days after both world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and second-ranked Rafael Nadal voiced safety concerns about playing the 2020 US Open while the coronavirus persists, Dan Evans provided a different perspective.

The British No. 1 suggests the world's top two have a responsibility to play the Slams.

More: Djokovic Taken Aback By US Open Extreme Measures

Evans told BBC 5 Live Breakfast Grand Slam prize money fuels lower-ranked players so the stars should play the Slams in a show of support.

"It's great what the ATP did with the Relief Fund but there's nothing better than the prize money of the Grand Slams for the players to be receiving," Evans told BBC 5 Live. "This is the point where I think the players should really come together and Novak and Rafa should really be looking to help those players with lower ranks so they get a good pay day.

"It's obviously not all about money, it's health involved here, but if it's safe enough I don't think having just a coach is a good enough reason not to be going to a tournament."

The USTA is proposing moving the Western & Southern Open from Cincinnati to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens and play it as a prelude to the US Open, scheduled to start on August 31st.

Tennis Express

The USTA said it expects to make a decision on the US Open by the middle of this month. If the Open is played it will likely be without fans with players traveling to New York City, which has been the national epicenter for the virus, on private planes accompanied by just one coach or team member.

Last week, Nadal told the media in the current COVID-19 climate he would not be comfortable traveling to New York to defend his US Open crown.

"It is not ideal. Right now I would not like to go play a tennis tournament in New York," Nadal said. "But I do not know in two months because we do not know if the situation is going to improve. I am sure that the people who organize the tournament want that the event is safe and that the French Tennis Federation wants the same thing.

"They want to play if everyone is going to be safe. I trust that they will make the right decisions at the right time. If there is not total security, there is no sense in playing because we have to be responsible and lead by example."



Eight-time Australian Open champion Djokovic called US Open proposals "extreme" and "really impossible."

“I had a telephone conversation with the leaders of world tennis, there were talks about the continuation of the season, mostly about the US Open due in late August, but it is not known whether it will be held," Djokovic told Prva TV. "The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme.”

In contrast, Evans says safety measures under consideration are not a big deal. Evans called Djokovic's objections "not valid" for the majority of players and points out players must give a little to gain the benefits of resuming Grand Slam play.

"There has to be a bit of give and take from the players," Evans told BBC 5 Live Breakfast: "I don't think having one person of your team only allowed is such a big deal. The majority of the draw would only travel with one coach.

"Not everyone's travelling with physios and fitness trainers like Novak said, so I think his argument there is not really valid for the rest of the draw, apart from the real top guys."

Photo credit: Citi Open Facebook

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