Novak Djokovic: US Open only fair if every eligible player can compete

World number one says he was ‘sceptical’ at prospect of New York slam going ahead

Novak Djokovic returned to action in a charity event last weekend. Photograph: Andrej Isakovic/Getty/AFP

Novak Djokovic returned to action in a charity event last weekend. Photograph: Andrej Isakovic/Getty/AFP

 

World number one Novak Djokovic says he is excited by the prospect of playing at the US Open but says it would only be fair if every player eligible is able to compete.

The Unites States Tennis Association (USTA) announced this week that the US Open would go ahead at the end of August without fans and with strict health protocols in place.

However, with the Covid-19 pandemic still peaking in some regions of the world, Djokovic is concerned that many players will not be able to travel even if they wanted to.

“Hopefully every single player who is participating, chosen by ranking and who deserves their place at the US Open, will have an equal opportunity to travel there and compete as everybody else,” Djokovic told Eurosport’s Tennis Legends podcast.

“This is very important because this is the foundation of the ATP and the foundation of international tennis.”

Several leading players have voiced their concerns about the US Open taking place, especially as the US has the most deaths from Covid-19 in the world.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal said he would be unlikely to travel there in the current circumstances while women’s world number two Simona Halep has also indicated she will not go.

Earlier this month Djokovic said competing in New York would be impossible because of the “extreme” Covid-19 protocols in place for the tournament at Flushing Meadows.

However, the Serb says he is very glad it is going ahead and that the ATP Tour would resume in August after being suspended since March because of the pandemic.

“I’m extremely happy and excited to see that all the tournaments, especially Grand Slams, are organising their events,” the 33-year-old 17-time Grand Slam champion said.

“I think that a lot of people were sceptical, especially for the US events considering what the US went through as a country during this pandemic. So a lot of people, including myself, were quite sceptical on whether it would happen or not.

“Let’s hope that in the next two months some of those restrictions will loosen up a bit and that we will have a great, great tournament.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.