New York City, US, Aug 12 (EFE).- The US Open will not allow spectators at the qualifying matches of the tennis tournament, the US Tennis Association (USTA) said on Thursday.
“This was a particularly tough decision for the USTA to make, given the immense popularity of US Open Qualifying among fans but after consulting with local health authorities and the US Open medical team, it was determined that it was the right decision to ensure the health and safety of all,” the organization said in a statement.
The USTA said that the largest number of players and their teams are on site during the qualifying week, which will be held between Aug. 24-27, with 256 qualifiers sharing the grounds with the main draw singles and doubles players which would mean that over 2,500 people need to be accessing the site during that time.
The indoor capacity has also been “greatly reduced” at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center due to the coronavirus pandemic so some of the player facilities, including for recreation, dining and training, have been moved outdoors, the USTA said.
“With that, there is not enough room to allow fans to access the site while still ensuring player and fan safety – which remains our top priority,” it added.
Top tennis stars are set to take part in the US Open this year, which, unlike last year’s edition, will allow spectators in the main draw matches.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, and his eternal rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, will participate in the tournament, in addition to the most prominent figures on the women’s circuit, including Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka. EFE