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The US Open is back with fans-free downloads and restrictions on Flushing Meadows

Written by Debkalpa Banerjee

Updated: August 31, 2020 5:55:52 PM

For both Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, the story draws in Flushing Meadows. (Source: AP)

Ending a seven-month Grand Slam wait for the coronavirus pandemic, the US Open will kick off Monday with no fans, no singles defending champions, no mixed doubles and a handful of restrictions.

After the French Open was postponed to the end of September and Wimbledon was canceled amid the ongoing pandemic, the American Tennis Association (USTA) decided to continue with its championship in New York to compensate for the loss of money from ticket sales and other income on the spot in the summer.

In addition to spectators, Billy Jean King’s National Tennis Center will miss former champions such as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and others.

With the absence of two of the “Big Three” in the tournament, Novak Djokovic has a strong chance to increase his Grand Slam record to 18 victories. On the other hand, Serena Williams will resume her quest for a record-breaking 24th singles triumph in a run-down competition.

With the pandemic still ruling in what used to be the U.S. COVID point, annoying quarantine rules and even the Black Lives Matter movement, the US Open is sure to make headlines every day.


Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have nine US Open titles. (Source file)

While players say they felt safe in the bio-balloon set before the Western and Southern Open, several chose to bypass the US Open.

Nadal, the protected men’s singles champion, withdrew earlier this month amid fears of a pandemic, saying: “The situation is very complicated worldwide, the incidence of COVID-19 is increasing and we still do not seem to have control over it. ”

Apart from him and the recovering Federer, other absentees are the defense of the women’s champion Bianca Andrescu, Ashley Barty, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Belinda Bencic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin Del Potro, Nick Kyrgios and

Due to the draws, the seeds for the men in singles are – Novak Djokovic (1), Dominic Thiem (2), Daniil Medvedev (3), Stefanos Tsitsipas (4), Alexander Zverev (5), Mateo Beretini (6), David Goffin (7). , Roberto Bautista Agut (8).

As for the singles for women, the seeds are – Karolina Pliskova (1), Sofia Kenin (2), Serena Williams (3), Naomi Osaka (4), Arina Sabalenka (5), Petra Kvitova (6), Madison Keys 7)), Petra Martic (8).

Since six of the top ten women’s toys are not competing on Flushing Meadow, should there be an asterisk until this year’s event?

“You still have to play tennis, stars or not,” said Williams, 38. “If you win, it will be like ‘Wow, I managed to win in this crazy circumstance where there were no fans. It was so sterile and strange, but mentally I passed. “


Whether it’s the UEFA Champions League, the NBA or the IPL, balloons are the new norm in the sports world. Masks, coronavirus tests, temperature tests and self-isolation have become as important as pre-match training.

The US Open also works in a similar way, with each person in the balloon being tested twice for coronavirus upon arrival. Players and their limited environment are transported from and to the hotels to the Queens Tennis Court, which has been modified to include activities such as mini golf and arcade games.

Thanks to the shifted Western and Southern Open – a tournament to warm up the curtain – players are accustomed to the new setting. At least, mostly.

“There are signs everywhere … they don’t even let us in the hotel parking lot because it’s outside the balloon. “Wherever we go, we have to wear a mask and authority,” said Rohan Bopana, winner of the mixed doubles title at the 2017 French Open. The Indian Express.

On the court, the line referees have been replaced by Hawk-Eye on all courts except the Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong show courts, while the matches will have three children with balls instead of the usual six.


There will be no US Open fans for this year’s tournament. (Source file)

Without the presence of fans at the 23,771 capacity Arthur Ashe Stadium – the largest tennis facility in the world – the structure of the event will be different.

From August 31 to September 13, players will be deprived of the welcomed surge of energy or, conversely, of the pressure to present themselves to thousands. As for the coaches, it will be easier for them to call something to a player, and for the referees in the chair, they will not feel the need to delay the start of the passing clock until the noise after the point subsides.

In tennis, the players are on their own. What’s more, this time.

“Tennis is such a mental sport and I guess it makes it harder without fans. They give you so much, all this atmosphere, “said the three-time Grand Slam runner-up, Team. “And now, in an empty stadium, maybe your coach and your team are there. That makes him, I guess, very, very lonely. “

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Andy Murray, who will aim for his fourth Grand Slam after a long break caused by injuries, believes that while the calm atmosphere had its advantages, it was a sad situation. “It’s just a little sad that there will be no fans to watch the matches,” said the 2012 champion.

“It’s nice to walk to your training courts without stopping, but then the atmosphere just isn’t the same without people. Now the tennis players and their teams are wearing masks. Fans liven up the tournaments. “

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