US Open announces update on Grand Slam dates

andrewhendrie in News 18 Mar 2020
A general view of Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open (Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports)

The US Open has provided an update on their Grand Slam status amid the chaos coronavirus is having on the usual tennis calendar.

With the ATP, WTA and ITF tours all suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus outbreak and uncertainty as too when the spread will cease, talk has shifted to tournaments later in the season.

Most notably, Roland Garros announced on Tuesday that the second Grand Slam of the season would be making the unprecedented move of shifting its dates to September 20 to October 4, starting just one week after the U.S. Open.

Many players were upset with the lack of communication from Roland Garros and the ITF to the players, including player council member Vasek Pospisil, who had this to say about the matter to the New York Times:

“We’re always trying to make it work for everybody, and they just haven’t consulted the ATP, the players or other tournaments,” he said.

“Just a very selfish move. They’re basically doing a power play right now and it’s quite arrogant.”

The U.S. Open appeared to throw some shade at Roland Garros in a statement released later on Tuesday evening, referencing their intention to consult with other tournaments before announcing a change in their dates.

“The USTA is continuing to plan for the 2020 U.S. Open and is not at this time implementing any changes to the schedule,” the statement read.

“These are unprecedented times, though, and we are assessing all of our options, including the possibility of moving the tournament to a later date.

“At a time when the world is coming together, we recognise that such a decision should not be made unilaterally, and therefore, the USTA would only do so in full consultation with the other Grand Slam tournaments, the WTA and ATP, the ITF and our partners, including the Laver Cup.”

With the French Open moving to late September and early October, many tournaments on the ATP, WTA, Challenger and ITF circuits would be affected, while the Laver Cup – currently scheduled to run from September 25-27 – is also in jeopardy.

It remains to be seen how many players would commit to the rescheduled French Open, but with so much prize money and ranking points on the line – not to mention the chance to win a Grand Slam – you’d think the bulk of eligible players would want to compete, especially after missing out on pay cheques with the current cancellation of tournaments.

However, in saying that, 12-time champion Rafael Nadal seemingly wouldn’t want to play back-to-back majors and change surfaces within a week, meaning he could easily pull out of the U.S. Open in order to prepare for Roland Garros.

Roger Federer, who owns shares in the Laver Cup and is currently recovering from knee surgery, might also boycott in protest, but everything’s too uncertain now to make any knowledgeable and accurate statements.

Wimbledon, scheduled for June 29 to July 12, is yet to make a definitive announcement on their Grand Slam, but they have previously stated they will not play behind closed doors.

The ATP World Tour is currently suspended until April 27, although it’s looking increasingly likely the suspension will continue for months to come.

The WTA Tour is postponed until May 2 at the earliest.