US Open planning chartered flights; daily temperature checks in order to stage tournament

andrewhendrie in News 01 Jun 2020
US Open Plan
The US Open (Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports)

A decision on the US Open is expected to be made within the next month as the hardcourt major continues to explore all possible avenues to stage the tournament in 2020.

According to an article published by the Associated Press, reduction in player entourages, chartered flights from around the world, daily temperature checks and a negative COVID-19 test before flying to New York are among the scenarios the US Open is considering to green light their tournament for a main draw start date of August 31.


Tournament officials still want to hold the event at the Billie Jean National Tennis Centre in New York and don’t want to change venues.

“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,” U.S. Tennis Association Chief Stacy 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.”

The USTA also want centralised housing and restricted locker room access to players in an attempt to minimise the risk of COVID-19.

“The fundamental goal here is to mitigate risk,” Allaster said. “You come, you practice, and return to the hotel.”

Tennis was first suspended in March just days before the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells was due to begin and has been postponed until August 1 at the earliest.

Roland Garros was postponed from May to September and Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time in 75 years.

Due to its global nature and essential need to travel, it’s logistically one of the toughest sports to plot a return to normality.

According to Allaster, players arriving with a team of ‘five, six, seven, eight people is not something that’s in the plan’, while players will also have to be subject to daily testing.

“Once they come into our, let’s say, ‘U.S. Open world,’” Allaster said, “there will be a combination of daily health questionnaires, daily temperature checks and … some nasal or saliva or antibody testing.”

Allaster says a final decision on the US Open will be made from ‘mid-June or the end of June’.