Novak Djokovic calls rules for return of US Open ‘extreme’ for players – tennis – Hindustan Times | Edited by Yash Bhati

Hindustan Times, Delhi

Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the Final match against Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning the Final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas.(REUTERS)



While many sports are trying to find ways to return to action, measures regarding the comeback of tennis are still unknown. Football has already returned in several countries, MMA is up and running, cricket has announced its future schedule, Racing is also set to resume but the future of tennis is still unknown. The novel coronavirus has disrupted the plans for the remaining three grand slams and it looks like the ATP is trying their best to hold the US Open.

However, the top players are not agreeing with the measures the tennis authorities are looking to undertake to restart the game. Tennis greats Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have been vocal about their displeasure regarding the matter.

World number one Djokovic, who has won the US Open three times, expressed his displeasure at the measures suggested for the return of the grand slam. He said that the rules are extreme and the suggestions made are really rigorous.

“Just yesterday I had a telephone conversation with the leaders of world tennis, there were talks about the continuation of the season, mostly about the US Open due in late August, but it is not known whether it will be held,” Djokovic told Prva TV television and quoted by Blic online daily.

“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme.”

“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.

“Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible.

“I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.

“All their suggestions are really rigorous but I can understand that due to financial reasons, due to already existing contracts, organisers (want the event to be) held. We will see what will happen.”

Going a step further, Nadal said he would decline the offer to play at US Open if it was offered to him today.

“We cannot resume until the situation is completely safe and fair in terms of health in that all players, wherever they come from, can travel and play tournaments in safe conditions,” Nadal told reporters in a video conference call.

“If you told me to play the US Open today, I would say ‘no’.

“In a few months, I don’t know. I hope so. We have to wait for people to return to normal life. And when it does, wait to see how the virus evolves.”

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