US Open executive lays out possible plans for 2020 including charter flights for players to New York

Organizers of the 2020 US Open tennis tournament are operating somewhere between optimism and realism. There are plans being made for the event to possibly take place, while they are also acknowledging that it will not be business-as-usual were it to happen. The Associated Press spoke to the U.S. Tennis Association’s chief executive for professional tennis, Stacey Allaster, about this topic and the suggestions that were made.

The following ideas were mentioned as possibilities for a coronavirus-conscious tournament:

  • Additional locker rooms and improved air filtration in existing spaces
  • Using tournament partner airlines to fly competitors to New York through charter flights from Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Dubai, among others
  • Requiring players to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test
  • No locker-room access until just before a match
  • Strict regiment for participants; You come, you practice, and return to the hotel,” Allaster said
  • Entourages of more than four people are being discouraged
  • The tournament could provide physiotherapists and masseuses so players don’t have to bring their own
  • Fewer line judges, heavier reliance on replay technology
  • Only have adults as ball persons

Should the USTA decide to go forward with the tournament, it will begin on its original start date of Aug. 31. An announcement about that is expected to come sometime from “mid-June to end of June,” Allaster told the AP.

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