One of the most prestigious tennis sports events, Wimbledon, has been cancelled because of the ongoing pandemic. This is the first grand slam to be suspended since 1945 during World War II. But despite such announcements, there are still notable tennis events that are pushing on with the competition. The prime example would be the US Open, which is going ahead in New York, according to news reports.
What do tennis players think about this?
Many players have been apprehensive about the tournament. Some have even opted not to participate. The most prominent one would be Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard officially withdrew last August. He is one the leading male players that could have possibly tied with Roger Federer for the all-time men’s grand slam lead.
“The situation is very complicated worldwide, the COVID-19 cases are increasing, it looks like we still don’t have control of it,” Nadal stated in an interview.
Other players have remained hopeful and positive by joining the US Open event.
According to Andy Murray, “It’s nice. They’ve done a really good job at the hotel. They’ve got games and arcades and things like that, which I enjoy. They’re putting on different food in the evenings for the players. We can get delivery. Room is absolutely fine. You have a gym there. So, yeah, it’s absolutely fine.”
Since last month, players have been getting used to the set up provided by the US Open. There have not been any complaints among the tennis players so far.
The Precautions Taken for the US Open
The safety precautions that are being utilized in many sports events these days are bubbles accompanied by coronavirus tests and temperature checks.
For the US Open, they have taken the following steps to prevent any risks from happening:
- They will be shuttling the tennis players and their limited entourages to and from the event’s hotels to the competition site in Flushing Meadows, Queens.
- The tennis players will be staying in Long Island instead of in Manhattan.
- There will be no fans or spectators at the tournament.
The Downsides of the US Open
While these things might be great to help preserve the safety and health of the tennis players, it is also a double-edged sword because there are also some downsides to it.
Serena Williams, one of the greatest female players in tennis, has stated in an interview with reporters that she didn’t want to be inside a hotel because of her lung issues. She preferred staying at home since she will have more control over her environment.
“And so as much as I want to be here, it’s great, but I have genuine health issues that I just really needed to put my mind at rest to even be able to perform in New York,” Williams said.
Other players have also stated that they might find it challenging to play with no crowds cheering them on.
No Crowds to Cheer Them On
According to Dominic Thiem, the 2020 Australian Open finalist, “Tennis is such a mental sport, and I guess it makes it way more difficult without fans, because I just imagine playing in the fifth set on Arthur Ashe, night session, way past midnight, and in a normal year you get so much energy from the fans…And now, in an empty stadium, maybe your coach and your team is there, these are the only people, that makes it, I guess, very, very lonely, very, very tough, and that’s going to be a very interesting thing to experience.”
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