Australian tennis pro Nick Kyrgios slammed the U.S. Tennis Association as “selfish” on Monday after it announced that it would be moving forward with the U.S. Open in New York City at the end of August.
Kyrgios took to Twitter to criticize the decision, which will require players to abide by strict quarantine guidelines in order to participate.
“... people that live in the US of course are pushing the Open to go ahead,” his tweet read. “‘Selfish’ I’ll get my hazmat suit ready for when I travel from Australia and then have to quarantine for 2 weeks on my return.”
Other top players like Novak Djokovic and Ash Barty, and defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal, have expressed reservations about heading to Flushing Meadows, where an indoor tennis facility was used as a temporary home for hundreds of hospital beds at the height of the city’s coronavirus crisis.
The U.S. Open normally is each season’s fourth and final Grand Slam tournament but would be the second of 2020, following the Australian Open, which concluded in early February.
The French Open was postponed from May and currently is scheduled to start a week after the U.S. Open ends. Wimbledon was canceled altogether for the first time since World War II in 1945.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo confirmed Tuesday that the major tennis event would go on as scheduled but with significant changes.
“We’re excited about the U.S. Open, (which) is going to be held in Queens, Aug. 31 through Sept. 13. It will be held without fans, but you can watch it on TV — and I’ll take that,” Cuomo said at his daily briefing in Albany. “The tennis authorities are going to be taking extraordinary precautions, but that’s going to take place.”
The USTA plan includes limited player entourages, assigned hotels, increased cleaning at the tournament grounds, extra locker room space, daily temperature checks and occasional testing for COVID-19.
There would be no qualifying for singles and likely reduced fields for doubles. Players whose rankings would have put them in qualifying rounds that allow some men and women access to the 128-player singles draws will be compensated with funds the USTA will pass along to the ATP and WTA tours to distribute.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.