US Open: various options being explored

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Charter flights to ferry players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York. Negative COVID-19 tests before travelling. Centralised housing. Daily temperature checks.

No spectators. Fewer on-court officials. No locker-room access on practice days.

All are among the scenarios being considered for the 2020 U.S. Open — if it is held at all amid the coronavirus pandemic — and described to The Associated Press by a high-ranking official at the Grand Slam tournament.

“All of this is still fluid,” Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Tennis Association’s chief executive for professional tennis, said in a phone interview.

“We have made no decisions at all.”

With that caveat, Allaster added that if the USTA board does decide to go forward with the Open, she expects it to be held at its usual site and in its usual spot on the calendar.

The main draw is scheduled to start Aug. 31.

“We continue to be, I would say, 150% focused on staging a safe environment for conducting a U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on our dates. It’s all I wake up — our team wakes up — thinking about,” Allaster said.

“The idea of an alternative venue, an alternative date…we’ve got a responsibility to explore it, but it doesn’t have a lot of momentum.”

An announcement should come from mid-June to end of June, Allaster said.

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