Making plans for the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, anyone? So is the United States Tennis Association (USTA) but not just at its usual Flushing Meadows, NY site or its usual late August starting date.
In an interview with Inside Tennis Magazine, USTA chief executive officer Mike Dowse said the tennis facility in Indian Wells, CA. could be a suitable substitute. If the U.S. Open is moved to the West Coast, the starting date for the two-week event could be in November. “No formal decision has been made about Indian Wells,” Dowse said. “Whatever we do, we’ll have to do it in alignment with the owners of Indian Wells, and the ATP and the WTA.”
New York’s status as a ‘hot spot’ for the Coronavirus (a.k.a. covid-19) leaves one of the nation’s most iconic events – set to begin August 31, still in doubt. Dowse said that a decision on whether to postpone or cancel will be made in June. “The driving factor will be the health and well-being of the players, the fans and our staff,” Dowse recently told CBS/AP. A medical advisory group that includes at least five doctors is among his advisors, he said.
Since 1987, the U.S. Open has been the final leg of the Grand Slam, which only can be claimed by men or women winners of the four major titles – Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open in the same calendar year. The French Open postponed its clay court event until September, but Wimbledon’s decision to cancel its grass court tourney, aborted Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic, of Serbia and Sofia Kenin, of Pembroke Pines, FL. chances of capturing the 2020 Grand Slam.
U.S. Open applications for media credentials were made available via email to sports journalists last month. If held this year, the USTA will host the 141st consecutive U.S. Open men’s championship and the 135th consecutive women’s championship.