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Tennis: US Open to go ahead as planned

NEW YORK: The US Open tennis tournament is to go ahead as planned pending formal government approval, the New York Times reported on Monday (Jun 15).

The Times cited four tennis officials speaking on condition of anonymity as saying that the Grand Slam event would take place in its usual late August-September slot.

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The status of the tournament has been mired in uncertainty for weeks as New York battles the coronavirus, while a number of top players have expressed doubts about playing in the tournament.

The Times report said the tournament would take place at Flushing Meadows without fans from Aug 31 to Sep 13 after receiving support from the ATP and WTA Tours.

The US Tennis Association is expected to announce the decision later this week, the Times reported.

Forbes magazine also reported that the Open would take place as scheduled, with a decision expected "soon".

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The proposed plans for the tournament had been met with widespread reservations amongst leading players in international tennis, with world number one Novak Djokovic the most outspoken critic.

Under proposed safety protocols, US Open players would be confined to a hotel outside of Manhattan and would only be allowed to bring one member of their entourage to the event.

Singles qualifying would be eliminated while the doubles tournaments would be reduced from 64 pairings to just 24.

"This is the world we are living in," USTA's director of player relations Eric Butorac told ATP and WTA players during a conference call last week.

"We believe this is a good plan and believe it is good for the sport. It's good for the tennis economy, creates jobs for you, for coaches, for commentators, for so many people."

Djokovic however said the proposed safety measures and restrictions on the numbers of support staff were problematical.Read More – Source