Djokovic may skip US Open

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

BELGRADE, SER­BIA (AP):

TOP-RANKED NO­VAK Djokovic is think­ing of skip­ping the U.S. Open - if it is played - and in­stead re­turn­ing to com­pe­ti­tion on clay ahead of the resched­uled French Open.

Speak­ing to Ser­bia’s state broad­caster RTS yesterday, Djokovic said the re­stric­tions that would be in place for the Grand Slam tour­na­ment in New York be­cause of the coron­avirus pan­demic would be “ex­treme” and not “sus­tain­able.”

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

Like many sports, ten­nis went on hia­tus in March be­cause of the COVID-19 out­break. All sanc­tioned tour­na­ments have been scrapped un­til at least late July.

That in­cludes the French Open, which was sup­posed to end last week­end but was post­poned un­til Septem­ber, and Wim­ble­don, which was can­celled for the first time since 1945.

The U.S. Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion is ex­pected to make a de­ci­sion as soon as next week about whether to hold the U.S. Open. Main-draw play is sched­uled to be­gin Aug. 31.

If that tour­na­ment is played, pos­si­ble pre­cau­tions that Djokovic said he wouldn’t ap­pre­ci­ate in­clude: a 14-day quar­an­tine re­quired for peo­ple ar­riv­ing from outside of the U.S., re­stricted ac­cess to courts, which he said means play­ers “wouldn’t be able to train;” a limit of one per­son per com­peti­tor at matches, lim­ited abil­ity to move around New York, in­clud­ing keep­ing play­ers at ho­tels near the tour­na­ment site in Queens and not let­ting them go to Man­hat­tan.

“Quite ex­treme con­di­tions for play­ing,” Djokovic said. “I don’t think that is sus­tain­able.”

DJOKOVIC

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