A decision on the U.S. Open will likely be made within the next week. But as officials weigh options for the tournament that drives 80% of their revenue, there’s resistance from international players.
The USTA has proposed the U.S. Open be played without spectators and with players, coaches, and support personnel in a bubble. The tournament would also be without singles qualifying, and the doubles tournament would drop from 64 teams to 24. International tennis stars, including men’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic and women’s No. 2 Simona Halep, have expressed doubts about international travel and playing within the quarantined environment.
However, the USTA has moved on from moving the tournament outside of New York, and USTA President Patrick Galbraith said a potential scenario is to “pack it up and just cancel 2020.” A year without the U.S. Open would be catastrophic to the USTA, which reportedly doesn’t have cancellation insurance on the event and already had to lay off 130 employees due to the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impact.
Another tournament lost would also be detrimental to the lower-ranked professional players who’ve been without prize money opportunities since March. Two of tennis’ four Grand Slams have already been affected, as Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since 1945, and the French Open moved from its normal May date to late September. The 2020 Australian Open was held with no issues in late January and early February.