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By Richard Pagliaro | Friday, July 17, 2020

 
Petra Kvitova

"I know a few players will definitely not go if the restrictions are like they are now," Petra Kvitova told BBC 5 Live.

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve

Spiking Coronavirus cases and uncertainty over US Open quarantine will “definitely” compel some players to skip the Flushing Meadows major if current conditions continue says Petra Kvitova.

The two-time Wimbledon winner told BBC 5 Live uncertainty over the USTA’s proposed safety protocol are giving some players pause about traveling to New York City to play the Open.

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"I know a few players will definitely not go if the restrictions are like they are now," Kvitova told BBC 5 Live. "I'm still thinking of what everything will look like, what the restrictions will be, how many people we can take and if they quarantine us."

Last month, the USTA officially announced it will host the Western & Southern Open, typically played in Cincinnati, and the US Open in succession at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center with a combined $60 million prize money on the line.

The Western & Southern Open will be contested August 19-28th with the US Open following August 31st-September 13th.

Citing social distancing requirements in this COVID-19 climate, the USTA is opting to hold the tournaments without fans and media in attendance.

US Open tournament director Stacey Allaster said the tournament will extend the entry deadline to two to three weeks before the Open begins. Allaster said she does not expect an issue with potential quarantine.

"I know on the quarantine, that's been a big topic of discussion," Allaster said in a Zoom call with the media last month. "Together with federal, New York state, local government and the USTA medical advisory group, we've created this centralized US Open world and Western & Southern Open world that in essence brings the athletes into a safe environment for them to train and return ultimately to work.

"We have the assurances of the federal government on May 22nd, the president signed a proclamation of national interest with sport being part of that proclamation that all athletes, their entourages, tour officials, would be able to come into our country to participate in the Western & Southern Open and the US Open."

The question is: Can the USTA keep Coronavirus out of Corona Park—and convince top players its safety bubble will be sufficient protection.

Tennis Express

Two-time US Open quarterfinalist Kvitova says she will play if she feels safe, but concedes “there’s still a chance I will not go.”

"Playing without the fans in Grand Slams, I can't really see it," Kvitova told BBC 5 Live. "If that happens and everything is okay I will go for sure to compete but there's still a chance I will not go. I will decide when I know everything."

Though New York City itself has flattened its Coronavirus curve, the virus continues to rage on in other areas of the country.

The US Open served as a hospital during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in New York City.

The tournament will try to transform to a tennis safe haven in August while trying to heal a rift between Americans who want the Open to play on and some European stars who are more comfortable resuming the season on European red clay in September before Roland Garros begins on September 27th.

Both world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal have said they are undecided about playing the Open, while 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has committed.


 

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