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Sunday, July 12, 2020

‘Organising US Open is impossible, the rules are extreme’: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic believes the rules that players will have to follow for US Open this year are quite rigorous, starting from having to sleep at the airport to bringing just one person to the club.

By: Sports Desk | Published: June 6, 2020 3:45:40 pm
Novak Djokovic in action in the 2019 US Open. (Source: File Photo)

With the pandemic still ruling large after more than two months of the lockdown, the question remains — will there be any more Grand Slams this year? Novak Djokovic doesn’t think so.

Earlier, the French Open was postponed from late May to late September, and the Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War II (1945) as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

With the tennis tour still in hiatus, the chances of organizing a risk-free US Open are getting weaker by the day. The 33-year-old Serbian weighed in on the situation and termed the rules to be ‘rigorous’.

“Just yesterday 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,” Djokovic told Prva TV.

“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme. 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. All their suggestions are really rigorous but I can understand that due to financial reasons, due to already existing contracts, organisers (want the event to be) held. We will see what will happen,” added the three-time US Open winner.

READ | ‘Novak Djokovic has time on his side to break Grand Slam record’

Going a step further, the reigning champion Rafael Nadal said he would decline the offer to play at US Open, which is scheduled to start from August 24 this year.

“We cannot resume until the situation is completely safe and fair in terms of health in that all players, wherever they come from, can travel and play tournaments in safe conditions,” said Nadal.

“If you told me to play the US Open today, I would say ‘no’.”

On the other hand, the French Open’s delayed start from September 20, one week after the scheduled final of the US Open has led to criticism within the tennis world. Earlier this month, the French Tennis Federation said it was in talks with the ATP, WTA, and the ITF over a revised calendar for the season.

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