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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday June 16, 2020

 
US Open

The US Open's Health and Safety Plan laid out the details for the 2020 tournament, as well as the 2020 Western and Southern Open.

Photo Source: AP

In a memo to its players, the US Open has made public its updated health and safety plan for the 2020 Western and Southern Open and US Open. Most notably, both events are currently scheduled to take place in succession at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, beginning on August 22.

There will be just two days between the finals of the Western and Southern Open and first ball of the US Open, and no qualifiers will be played for this year’s Open.


The movement of the Western and Southern Open to New York has precluded singles qualifying draws at this year’s staging of America’s Grand Slam. Additonally, the need for proper social distancing has forced the tournament’s decision to cancel the mixed doubles event while reducing the men’s and women’s doubles draw size to 32 pairs, from 64.

It was a decision met with frustration by some of the tour’s top doubles players.


In a two page release that came out in on Tuesday afternoon, the tournament listed key elements of the “Health and Safety” plan, which provides details on entourages, player lodging, Covid-19 testing, compensation, transportation and use of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which will open on August 16.

Prize Money

A $6.6 million fund has been created to address the needs of those players who will be impacted by the lack of qualifying, mixed doubles, and diminished doubles. The ATP and WTA Tours will each receive $3.3 million to disperse as they see fit.

Total prize money compensation for Cincinnati and the US Open (including $6.6 million fund and hotel costs) will be $60,000,000. Last year the US Open offered prize money of $57 million while the Cincinnati Masters offered just over $6 million.

Travel and Entourages

US Open claims that they have received assurances from the Federal government that no players will have issues entering the country. That doesn’t help players get out of the country to their next destination, but it should provide some comfort to players worried about travelling to the Coronavirus epicenter in New York.

According to the tournament, players are permitted to rent homes in the New York area if they don’t want to stay in an affiliated hotel. They are not allowed to stay in Manhattan.

This should come as good news to many, as well as the fact that the tournament has backed off the idea that only one member of an entourage will be allowed on site at a time.

The US Open is “Exploring social distancing protocols on site to determine numbers and locations,” according to the press release.

Covid-19 Testing

The touranament says that all players will be tested before departing for the US and throughout the competition at the hotel (plan does not say anything about testing for players who choose to rent private homes), and adds that the frequency of testing will be about one or two times per week.

There will also be daily temperature checks and a symptom questionnaire. Additionally, players required to wear face masks on site unless practicing, competing, or training.

The US Open has left themselves room to alter the plan by adding that all protocols are subject to change.


 

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