The sword of uncertainty still hangs over the fate of the US Open, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But tennis legend Roger Federer expects that the tournament will go ahead as scheduled.
Speaking to Swiss television channel 'SRF', Federer also surprisingly expressed happiness that the French Open is planning to allow spectators into the stadium. In addition, he spoke in detail about his life during the lockdown in Switzerland, his recent knee surgery and his goals for comeback in 2021.
If tennis starts again, it will be with the US Open: Roger Federer
Roger Federer has already called it a season due to his knee injury. Even if tennis does resume this year, the fans won't be treated to the Swiss Maestro's tennis until 2021.
Some believe it's a good thing for Federer that he won't be returning in 2020, since he has been spared the headache of planning his schedule amid the revised ATP calendar. There are five big tournaments - including two Grand Slams - crunched within a space of six weeks, and most players will have to choose between the American hardcourt tournaments and the European claycourt swing.
Moreover, if the tour's worst fears are realized and the American tournaments are called off, the players choosing to play in the United States over Europe will be left with nothing on their plate.
Roger Federer realizes the difficulties that professional tennis players are facing in this unique year. But the Swiss great also feels that it is important for international tennis to resume.
Federer said he has been in touch with the organizers of the US Open, who will be taking a decision on the tournament in the middle of August.
"If tennis starts again it will be with the US Open. There we will understand what could happen. I spoke to the organizers recently and they told me they will make a decision after mid-August. It will be interesting," Roger Federer said.
Speculation about the New York Slam being called off grew when another tournament in the US Open series, the Citi Open in Washington, was cancelled last week. But it remains to be seen whether the USTA is swayed enough by that development to take a similar call on the US Open.
I hope everything will return as before: Roger Federer
Roger Federer has maintained throughout the pandemic that tennis would lose its essence if there are no spectators in the stands. In that context, the 2009 champion believes it is 'positive' that the French Open will allow some spectators in the stadium, a luxury that the US Open cannot afford this year.
"Roland Garros has announced that there will be at least half the spectators. This is incredible but also positive. We live in very uncertain weeks and months for tennis. But I hope everything will return as before at some point," Federer said.
While the organizers of the French Open have announced their intention to allow fans into the newly renovated stadium, they would have to be careful about taking all precautionary measures and enforcing physical distancing.Published 27 Jul 2020, 23:52 IST