Nadal casts doubts over US Open as Djokovic calls rules for players “extreme”

A decision from the USTA is expected within in the next week or so regarding the US Open with a lot of fuelled rumours doing the rounds.

It is understood the USTA have applied to the New York government to be able to stage the event behind closed doors.

The USTA are also looking at creating a “tennis bubble” in New York. This could see the joint ATP and WTA event in Cincinnati which concludes a week before the main draw begins be played at Flushing Meadows, the same site of the US Open.

There will also be strict measures in place:

  • Players and their team member will be tested regualrly
  • Players will be only able to bring one team member with them
  • USTA could put on specific flights for players and team member to travel on
  • Players will be limited to what they can do outside of “tennis bubble” and might have to be in certain hotels

None of this has been confirmed publicly but the players have some info. It is expected however that there will be no doubles, mixed, juniors, wheelchair or qualifying taking place just singles.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been speaking to various media outlets with Nadal hosting a zoom meeting giving his views on this with both saying:


Speaking to Prva TV the world number one said:

“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,”

“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.”

“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.

“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme.”

So, Djokovic sees the rules he’s been told as ‘extreme’. He also said it would be ‘impossible’ to bring just one member of the team with them. This is something that affects the very top players who have a big entourage and team around them where as some ranked outside top 50 only have one member so it wouldn’t affect them.


Speaking to journalists on a zoom call the defending US Open spoke about a lot but regarding the US Open had this to say:

“If you asked me if I want to travel to New York today to play a tennis tournament, I will say no – I will not,” 

“But in a couple of months, I don’t know how the situation is going to improve. I am confident that if the tournament is played, it’s going to be under extremely safe circumstances. If not, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense.”

“We need to understand we are suffering an unprecedented situation and my feeling is we need to come back when all the players, from all the countries of the world, are able to travel under safe circumstances. I want to see my sport being 100% fair and correct.

“The key, of course, is to find a medicine that helps us to be sure we can travel and compete without being scared of having the virus and bringing back the virus home. My feeling is we need to wait a little bit more.”

So, Rafael Nadal thinks we should ‘wait a little bit more’ but also adds that it must be fair for all players to be able to be able to travel.

Could we potentially see the US Open go ahead with these rules but without top players if they don’t feel comfortable in the situation being put to them to potentially play in New York?

These scenario’s will be outlined very soon despite the US Open being a good 10 weeks away there is still soo much work to go into preparing a Grand Slam even one behind closed doors. It has to be thought about and preparations will have to begin soon as this would be a major unlike any other!

4 thoughts on “Nadal casts doubts over US Open as Djokovic calls rules for players “extreme”

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  1. I’m missing tennis badly, and the idea that we could have both Cincy and the US Open is great from that viewpoint, but I’m not sure how this is going to work. Players usually fly home as soon as they’re knocked out. And there’d be 256 players even if you didn’t play qualifying, coming from dozens of different countries, so putting on special flights is going to be a bit difficult! It’s been complicated enough getting football going again, and that only involves inland travel.

    I’m not sure why Nole’s so stressed about staying at the airport hotel, though! I would have thought that was the least of anyone’s worries 🙂 . It’s hardly as if he hasn’t seen the sights of New York before. Rafa’s comments make a lot more sense!

    1. The potential plan is to create a ‘tennis bubble’ in New York for around 3 weeks. Getting everyone there will be a problem, I’m not sure how they will go about this!

      If US Open and Cincinnati go ahead it will probably push Roland Garros back a couple more weeks to as they want to put on Madrid, Rome and Hamburg before Roland Garros 🤯

      If US Open and American hard swing doesn’t happen it could bring it forward and opens up for a ‘clay court season’

      Hopefully more answers on Wednesday! 🙏🏻

      1. I wish them luck! They might get away with Madrid or Rome, but Paris and Hamburg in the autumn will be pushing it. And Roland Garros have got an infuriating habit of shoving four matches on to Chatrier and Lenglen, which won’t work once it’s going dark earlier. Oh well, we shall see!

      2. It’s going to be messy when the schedules come out!

        I hope it’s a well thought out plan, Roland Garros said a while ago all quarter finals matches and all semi’s/finals will be played on Chatrier to be fairer… 8 quarters finals, 4 quarter finals a day (2 men and 2 women) and they’re scheduling to begin at 12 on a day… late nights under that roof!!

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