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US Open Tells Wheelchair Tennis Players They Can Play

On a conference call with wheelchair tennis players, the U.S. Tennis Association acknowledged it should have consulted with them before announcing their wheelchair events at the US Open were being canceled and are now willing to reverse its decision.

While the USTA would not go into details about the options they offered the wheelchair players, wheelchair athlete Stephane Houdet (two singles titles, and four doubles titles at the U.S. Open) tweeted about them:

1. Cancel the 2020 competition but have $150,000 in total compensation for wheelchair athletes.
2. Hold the U.S. Open wheelchair matches in Orlando, Florida, where the USTA National Campus is.
3. Hold the competition in Flushing Meadows during the U.S. Open but with a 5% reduction in compensation from 2019, which was $325,000.

Read the USTA’s Media Release Here:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 19, 2020

USTA Statement on US Open Wheelchair Competition

Today, the USTA, in conjunction with ITF wheelchair tennis leadership, conducted a very productive call with the wheelchair athletes who traditionally compete in the US Open Wheelchair Competition. Leading the call for the USTA was USTA Chief Executive Officer Mike Dowse, who was joined by  US Open Tournament Director Stacey Allaster and US Open Wheelchair Tournament Director Jo Wallen.  On the call, the USTA acknowledged that the Association should have communicated directly, and worked in a collaborative manner with the wheelchair athletes when developing the plan for the 2020 US Open, as it had done with both the ATP and WTA. The USTA also committed to working with the players and the ITF to explore a number of potential scenarios for the Wheelchair Competition to determine the best approach moving forward for the athletes and the competition.  The USTA expects to gather player feedback on their perspective and work with the ITF to finalize an approach to the 2020 US Open Wheelchair Competition.

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