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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday June 7, 2020


Stefanos Tsitsipas has joined the growing chorus of players that are put off by the possibility of playing Grand Slam tennis without spectators in attendance.

Tennis Express

"My personal view is that it is important to have these tournaments with people and not in front of empty stands," The current World No.6 told Greek journalist Vicky Georgatou. "For me, they have to wait until things get normal again, get back to the pace we were before and not think about the financial part, which is definitely the biggest factor. For example, in the US Open there are a lot of sponsors, a lot of financial interests and that's why I think they want the tournament to take place. And I totally understand that, but for me it's important to wait until we get back to normal and do everything in the ideal way, without there being such big changes that we're not used to playing with."


Recently players have reacted to internal memos which have listed the potential health and safety protocols to be but in place at the US Open. Rigorous testing and temperature checks on site, entourages limited to just one coach and lodging near the site.

And, of course, there is the issue of travel bans and quarantines. Last week Rafael Nadal said it wouldn’t be fair to play the tournament if some players weren’t allowed to travel to the US.

“If we are not able to organise a tournament safe enough and fair enough, and when I say fair enough, every player from every single part of the world needs to have the chance to play the tournament, we can’t play tennis, that’s my feeling,” Nadal said.

Tsitsipas says the uncertainty has painted a bleak picture in his mind about the tournament.

"I would describe the trip to New York as very dark, metaphorically,” he told Georgatou. “Playing in a dead atmosphere, without any life ... It's a bit complicated. We need the crowd, we can't play alone. I think it will be more complicated than it seems. And the trip seems very strange to me, because they intend to put us all on a plane and send us to New York. Have us all in a hotel. I have a feeling they really want tennis to be played this year. … They need to let things flow at their own pace and not rush to offer a spectacle this year. "

 

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