The world’s top men’s tennis player said Saturday he is uncomfortable about attending this year’s US Open, calling “extreme,” coronavirus protocols for the tournament.
“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme,” Novak Djokovic told Serbian media outlet, Prva TV.
The 33-year-old Serb said he talked to “leaders of world tennis” and it is still uncertain if tennis would continue this season and if the US tournament would be held in August.
“We would not have access to Manhattan. We would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week,” Djokovic said.
The 2020 Australian Open winner added that during the tournament a player needs access to a coach, fitness trainer and a physiotherapist but only one is allowed as per coronavirus protocols.
“Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible,” said the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
One of four majors, this year’s US Open was scheduled to begin Aug. 24 in New York City, one of the worst-hit US cities.
Rafael Nadal, 34, from Spain said Thursday that he does not want to be in New York for the tournament.
“If you asked me if I want to travel to New York today to play a tennis tournament, I will say no – I will not,” said Nadal.
The 19-time Grand Slam winner and second-ranked player in the world said tournaments should start once every player can travel freely and safely.
Nadal was the 2019 US Open champion.
No majors until August
Two Grand Slams have been delayed or canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The next major tournament on the schedule is the US Open.
The French Open was postponed in March with organizers announcing new dates for the tournament will be Sept. 20 to Oct. 4.
Organizers of Wimbledon canceled that event, setting news dates from June 28 to July 11, 2021.
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