While we are still waiting for the official announcement to confirm whether or not this year we will have US OpenHundreds of people have been studying for weeks the options that allow this fortnight of competition to be carried out as safely as possible in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. A few hours ago, the news agency AP News He shared an interesting talk with some executives of the USTA where they begin to get a glimpse of what those patches could be that allow New York City to enjoy the fourth Grand Slam of the season. Do not panic, for now there is nothing official.
· Charter flights to transport US Open players and their limited venues from Europe, South America, and the Middle East to New York.
· COVID-19 tests to each player before traveling, mandatory to give negative.
· Centralized housing to avoid unnecessary displacement.
· Daily temperature controls for each player.
· There will be no public. After studying the situation, the organization has decided that it is best that fans do not attend the event.
· There will be fewer on-track performances for tournament coverage.
· Access to changing rooms is prohibited on training days.
· Possibility of making the matches to the best of three sets as long as the players propose it and agree.
· Small teams by the players, it is not feasible for each tennis player to travel with his entourage of 7-8 people. The tournament will provide massage therapists, physical therapists and other profiles.
· Matches with fewer line judges, more responsibility for technology.
· Ball boys are kept, but only adults, no children.
As they have been able to verify, the measures try to protect the health of all those involved, even if some corrections are not received. Stacey Allaster, executive director of the USTA, underlined the difficulty they have right now to save the tournament, although what they are very clear about are the objectives. “We are 150% focused on organizing a safe environment to hold this US Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on our dates. We also have an obligation to explore other options, such as an alternative venue or different dates, but so far this has not gained much momentum. The definitive announcement should come between the middle and the end of June ”, confesses the American.
You have heard it, for now they are all assumptions, advanced ideas of what could be the roadmap of the US Open 2020, if they finally receive the green light to celebrate it. Just in case, it is convenient to propose an index of steps to follow. “We haven’t made any decisions yet, absolutely. Yes, we are considering numerous options, such as dates. To continue this and finally celebrate the tournament, the idea is that everything would start on August 31, “says Allaster.
Among all the measures, it is evident that the most painful and, surely one of the most fixed variables, is that of not having an audience. Lew Sherr, USTA’s chief revenue officer, values this decision with the numbers in hand. “It is less and less probable that the spectators will be able to accompany us in this edition of the US Open. This means giving up ticket revenue, giving up hospitality revenue, and giving up a portion of sponsorship revenue. However, the television and digital rights contracts, plus the remaining sponsorship dollars, are significant enough to make it worth going forward, ”he says.
We will have to wait a few more weeks to see what happens with the US Open. They talk about dates, the public, the health of the players, the flights, the reduction of personnel, even the format of the matches. A program designed to the millimeter that will fight to the end to make the event come true. What do you think? Are you convinced by a Grand Slam with so many limitations?