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Serena Ready For 2020 U.S. Open Tennis • Kyrgios, Millman Complaining

By Ricky Dimon

The U.S. Open, French Open, and several other tournaments have been given the green light to be held this season. Tennis is back!

But not everyone is happy about it.

The USTA is taking the most heat right now for planning to hold the U.S. Open as scheduled in late August and early September at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Among the players’ concerns are traveling to New York, safety measures at the venue and hotels, the lack of qualifying, a diminished doubles field, and the unique aspect of a playing atmosphere with no fans in attendance.

[Shaking my head],” Nick Kyrgios commented on Twitter. “People that live in the US of course are pushing (for) the Open to go ahead. ‘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.

The good news for players who want to minimize travel is that they have to visit just one location in order to compete in both the U.S. Open and Western & Southern Open. Previously held in Cincinnati, the Western & Southern Open is moving to Flushing Meadows this year so that players and tournament officials can remain in a single bubble for both the Masters 1000 event and the second Grand Slam of 2020.

The good news for players who want to minimize travel is that they have to visit just one location in order to compete in both the U.S. Open and Western & Southern Open. Previously held in Cincinnati, the Western & Southern Open is moving to Flushing Meadows this year so that players and tournament officials can remain in a single bubble for both the Masters 1000 event and the second Grand Slam of 2020.

Kyrgios’ countryman John Millman even found fault in that, however, because the Citi Open in Washington, D.C. will take place prior to the Cincinnati-U.S. Open double. It is scheduled for an Aug. 16 start in its normal location–not a part of the bubble.

Millman asked on Twitter: “Why are we going into a bubble for Cinci/US when we have a lead in tournament in Washington DC? We may as well have played Cinci in Cinci if we are no longer doing the bubble isolation tennis thing.” Despite so much fussing, tennis–to the surprise of many–is continuing 2020 after being suspended in early March. And for the most part that is considered good news. Count Serena Williams, Bianca Andreescu, and Novak Djokovic among the competitors eager to take their talents to New York.

“I really cannot wait to return in New York and play the U.S. Open,” Williams assured. “I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe. It’s going to be exciting. It’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis. I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong–just being out there and that New York crowd and hearing everyone cheer. I’ll really miss that getting me through some of those tough matches. This is crazy. I’m excited.”

“Returning to life as we once knew it is no longer an option,” Andreescu stated, “but I plan to make the most of the opportunity to get back on the court, re-connect with players and friends, and hopefully bring tennis back to the millions of fans across the globe safely.”

Djokovic had been skeptical about playing in the U.S. Open, but that was back when the tournament was unlikely to happen. Now that that it’s on, the top-ranked Serb has changed his tune.

“[People] are very glad that it is happening, of course, and it is very important that we provide opportunities, we provide jobs, we provide opportunities for players to compete,” Djokovic explained. “Because at the end of the day, this is what we do. As tennis professionals we love the sport; we are passionate about it. We miss competing and traveling and, at the end of the day, we miss being on tour.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.