The situation in America is not improving, New York does however have a greater hold on the situation than other states but there are serious concerns and doubts from the top players about heading to the US Open.
The restrictions in place limit what the players can do when not competing on site, they only have a couple of rooms unless they look at renting a house and may have to isolate after leaving America and have been assured players and their entourages will face no issue getting into the country. It’s a tough sell for those living outside the USA.
Simona Halep – “little bit worried”
Simona Halep has outlined her intentions in an interview on the BBC’s Wimbledon program. She wants to play in Palermo which is on clay and has doubts over playing Cincinnati and US Open and it looks likely she will skip it. I can’t see why Halep would play on clay in Europe, head to US for three weeks and then back for Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros where I believe she stands a better chance of winning.
“I wish to play Palermo because I need some matches.”
“US (Cincinnati & US Open) is going to be a little bit difficult because of the restrictions, so I haven’t not decided yet full but I am a little bit worried to make that move. But I’m just waiting to see what is going to be decided and what the other players do.”
Rafael Nadal confirmed for Madrid
It’s going to be an unusual few weeks for Rafael Nadal in picking up points. He could defend his titles at the US Open, Roland Garros and Rome and won’t pick up any points, the only place he could pick up points is Madrid if he gets past the semi-finals.
When talking about New York a while back the Spaniard did 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.
Since then there hasn’t been much from Nadal but Feliciano Lopez (Madrid tournament director) did confirm that Nadal will be playing the Madrid Open and Rafa has confirmed this himself:
It would seem odd to go to New York and play the US Open then Madrid. Will players returning having to isolate or will they be exempt.
It has been confirmed that any players who make the semi-finals of the US Open will receive a first round BYE for Madrid which begins on Monday and the US Open finishes on the prior Sunday.
Novak Djokovic plans to compete in a full clay court season
Novak Djokovic has only just been back on a court following his positive test for Covid-19 at his event in Serbia.
It wasn’t that long ago he cast doubts over playing the US Open because of their “extreme” measures and it looks like that hasn’t changed.
In an interview with Sports Journal he has said:
“Lately, I only see criticism, very malicious. Obviously, there is something more than that criticism, as if there is an agenda, as if it were a witch hunt. Someone has to fall, some person, some big name to be the main culprit for everything … I’m not sure I’ll play at the US Open. I plan to play Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros in September.“
He like Halep has pretty much set out his schedule, he won’t be able to begin until Madrid as the ATP have banned players who don’t compete at the US Open from playing in Kitzbuhel.
Another point on what he has said is the words “witch hunt”. Is it a witch hunt the right word? I wouldn’t say it is, as the world number one you have a responsibility and it isn’t just him who has let himself down but he’s the biggest profile name.
From what has been said, don’t expect Djokovic, Nadal or Halep to potentially head to New York and it will be interesting who does travel outside of the USA.