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By Tennis Now | Wednesday, June 24, 2020

 
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In a victory for athletes, the USTA reversed course and announced the US Open wheelchair tennis competition will roll on in September.

Photo credit: US Open Facebook

The US Open Wheelchair tennis competition will roll on in September.

The USTA today reversed course announcing that the 2020 US Open Wheelchair event will be held September 10-13th at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, N.Y., its traditional place on the US Open calendar.

More: Djokovic's Dad Blames Dimitrov for COVID-19 Spread

Main-draw action for the US Open starts on August 31st. 

The USTA, which came under fire for initially eliminating the wheelchair competition, said in a statement the decision to restore it was "made following multiple virtual meetings with a group of wheelchair athletes and the International Tennis Federation over the last week."

The 2020 US Open Wheelchair Competition will feature men’s and women’s singles and doubles and quad singles and doubles, with draw sizes similar to past US Opens.

Tennis Express

Wheelchair athletes will follow the same health and safety procedures as all players participating in the US Open and will be able to access the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center beginning on September 7th.

Initially, the USTA slashed mixed doubles, the wheelchair tournament and the junior event citing the aim to minimize the number of people on site and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

However backlash to the decision to eliminate the wheelchair event was swift.

Aussie Grand Slam quad wheelchair champion Dylan Alcott called it "disgusting discrimination."

"I thought I did enough to qualify—2x champion, number 1 in the world. But unfortunately I missed the only thing that mattered, being able to walk," Alcott tweeted in response to British wheelchair champion Andy Lapthorne's tweet. "Disgusting discrimination."




Ultimately, the athletes' voices were heard and the wheelchair competition was restored.

Will there be ranking points at stake?

In its announcement, the USTA said the ITF is "carefully reviewing the impact of this evolving situation related to awarding wheelchair ranking points and we expect a decision to be announced in the coming days." 


 

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