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Novak Djokovic could skip US Open 2020 because of draconian restrictions

Novak Djokovic won the US Open title in 2018
Novak Djokovic won the US Open title in 2018
ANALYST
Modified 10 Jun 2020
News

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has stated that he is considering giving the US Open a miss because of the extreme conditions in place at the tournament. The Serbian star also mentioned that he had contacted many players to seek their opinion on the issue, and most of them had similar reservations.

There is still considerable doubt over whether the USTA will be able to conduct the tournament this year - either at Flushing Meadows in New York or somewhere else in the country. But talking to Serbian broadcaster RTS, Novak Djokovic clarified that irrespective of whether it takes place or not, he would be more keen on resuming his season with the the claycourt tourneys in Europe.

Quite extreme conditions for playing: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic lost to Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round of US Open last year
Novak Djokovic lost to Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round of US Open last year

Novak Djokovic, who has won the US Open three times in his career, pointed out that it would be tough for him to bring along just one member of his coaching team for the upcoming Grand Slam.

Although the COVID-19 situation has not normalized yet in the US, the organizers are optimistic about the future and have insisted that the event will take place as scheduled - from 31 August. But they have also issued certain guidelines for the players in this regard, which according to Novak Djokovic are too draconian.

"Quite extreme conditions for playing," Novak Djokovic said. "I don't think that is sustainable."

The five-time Wimbledon winner believes that the mandatory 14-day quarantine period and limited access to the courts would have a negative impact on the players. Besides, keeping the players at hotels near the venue coupled with restricted ability to move around on the grounds would also create a problematic situation, according to the Serb.

The season will probably continue on clay at the beginning of September: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic hinted that he might skip the US Open to participate in the French Open
Novak Djokovic hinted that he might skip the US Open to participate in the French Open

The COVID-19 break has compelled the French Open organizers to delay the tournament until September.

A few days ago, Rafael Nadal had said that even though he was the defending champion at the French Open and the US Open, he would likely take part in only one of the two competitions this year. Novak Djokovic seemed to echo the same sentiment during his recent interview as he said:

“Most of the players I have talked to were quite negative on whether they would go there. For me currently, as things stand, most probably the season will continue on clay at the beginning of September.”

Although the top players have shown a reluctance to play in the US Open, British player Dan Evans had rubbished their concerns earlier this week. He urged Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to participate in the upcoming Majors so that the lower-ranked players could earn Grand Slam prize money.

The US Tennis Association will likely make a final decision on the US Open schedule this week. The chances of delaying the competition are quite high, given how the top players have publicly refrained from participating.

Published 10 Jun 2020
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