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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday June 6, 2020


17-time major champion Novak Djokovic is not in favor of what he perceives to be “extreme” and “impossible” restrictions that are to be imposed on players at this year’s US Open.

Tennis Express

The 2020 US Open is still scheduled to go proceed on schedule, with the main draw to run from August 31 to September 13, but with many restrictions due to public health concerns related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

2019 men’s singles champion Rafael Nadal recently expressed his trepidations over the 2020 competition being held, and world number one Djokovic has now voiced his feelings about proposals that would cap the number of members of entourage allowed to attend Flushing Meadows, as well as lodging and testing issues.

“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.”

Djokovic said that players would be monitored strenuously, tested several times per week, and not allowed to travel to Manhattan for lodging purposes.

“We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week,” he said. “Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.”

The World No.1 understands the reasons the restrictions need to be put in place. He is merely expressing his belief that they will make playing the event at a top level very difficult.

Ashleigh Barty, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nadal have also expressed concerns and a lack of desire to play an event without fans that may not be safe for the public or players.

"It's exciting that tennis is being talked about again and things are moving in the right direction for us to start competing but I'd need to understand all of the information and advice from the WTA and the USTA before making a decision on the US events," Barty told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Nadal echoed those sentiments.

“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 from his Academy in a Zoom press conference with international media on Thursday.

Tsitsipas told Greek journalist Vicky Georgatou that he would prefer to wait to play majors until fans can be a part of it.

"My personal view is that it is important to have these tournaments with people and not in front of empty stands," World No. 6 Tsitsipas told Georgatou. "Say you win such a big event as a Grand Slam. Without the world, adrenaline is not the same, the feeling is not the same. The world is the one that brings energy, fills the stadiums and creates the atmosphere we have. It could, of course, be a worldless tournament, but it would not offer the same feeling, the same intensity. "


Djokovic understands the financial implications of not playing the tournament, but hopes that better solutions can be found if the show must go on.

“All their suggestions are really rigorous but I can understand that due to financial reasons, due to already existing contracts, organizers [want the event to be] held,” said Djokovic. “We will see what will happen.”

 

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