US Open Tennis To Stick To Its Schedule

- Oct 26, 2020-

Despite major challenges created by the pandemic, the US Tennis Association is set to announce this week that it will hold the 2020 US Open with the support of the men’s and women’s tours. The tournament is expected to run as originally scheduled from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, but without spectators, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, according to four tennis officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans had not been announced and formal government approval had yet to be secured. Even if the tournament is confirmed this week, more than two months will remain before it begins, and outside forces, including the path of the virus and global travel restrictions, may still scuttle the USTA’s plans. The field may also be thinner than usual, with athletes making individual decisions about whether to compete. ESPN is paying more than $70 million annually in rights fees to the organization mainly to televise the tournament. In a normal year, the US Open would be the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament. But the men’s and women’s tours have been shut down since March because of the public health crisis. The start of the French Open, normally the second Grand Slam tournament of the year, has been postponed until late September. Wimbledon, the oldest of the major tournaments, was canceled for the first time since 1945. The US Open singles qualifying tournaments are not expected to be played. That would reduce the number of people at the tournament site and the official hotel. But the USTA, which has committed to roughly $52 million in prize money, is providing more than $2 million apiece to the men’s and women’s tours to compensate lower-ranked players affected by the absence of qualifying.

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