There will be championship tennis in Queens this summer, although there will be no fans at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to watch it.
What You Need To Know
- The 2020 U.S. Open will be the first Grand Slam tennis tournament since the coronavirus outbreak halted nearly all professional sports in March.
- Guidelines include COVID-19 testing for players, electric line-calling and fewer ball people on the court.
- There have been concerns that some of the sport's biggest stars will opt out of playing this year. But 23-time Grand Slam Winner Serena Williams announced she is on-board and eager to get back on the court.
The U.S. Open will be the first Grand Slam tennis tournament since the coronavirus outbreak halted nearly all professional sports in March.
"In this tough and trying year, that's not just good news -- it's remarkable news,” said Katrina Adams, the USTA Board of Directors Immediate Past President.
The U.S. Tennis Association has been monitoring the coronavirus crisis for months. In April, It agreed to have the tennis center transformed into a temporary hospital to help care for coronavirus patients.
The U.S. Open will be held under guidelines set by a medical advisory board. Players will be tested for COVID-19 once they arrive at designated hotels and they will be tested regularly once the tournament gets underway. To reduce the use of umpires, electronic line-calling will be used at all courts except the two largest arenas. There will also be fewer ball people on the courts.
"Tennis is an ideal sport for physically distancing. Being able to play the sport safely, to socialize,” said Dr. Brian Hainline, a member of the USTA Medical Advisory Group.
There have been concerns that some of the sport's biggest stars will opt out of playing this year. But 23 time Grand Slam Winner Serena Williams announced she is on-board and eager to get back on the court.
"It's been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis. So it is, I'll certainly miss the fans, don't get me wrong. Just being out there in that New York crowd and hear everyone cheer. I'll really miss that and getting me through some of those hard matches,” said Williams.
The U.S. Open will run from August 31st through September 13th.
In addition, the Western and Southern Open, which is usually played in Cincinatti, Ohio has been moved to New York. That tournament will run from August 19th to the 28th, also without fans.