(CBSNewYork)- The U.S. Open tennis tournament is still tentatively scheduled to be played in its original time slot on the calendar, despite the coronavirus pandemic. The event, set for August 31-September 13 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, has not made any determinations yet about whether to postpone or play on.
Defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal told The New York Times Thursday that right now, he wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling to New York to play the event.
“Well, is not an ideal situation, honestly no,” Nadal told the Times. “If you ask me today if I want to travel today to New York to play a tennis tournament, I will say no, I will not.”
“In a couple of months I don’t know how the situation is going to improve. Hopefully it’s going to improve the right way, and I’m sure the people who organize the event, the U.S.T.A., want a safe event, same like the French Federation,” Nadal continued.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the rescheduling of the French Open, to September 20, one week after the final of the U.S. Open. The men’s and women’s tours have both been suspended since March, and Nadal says he only recently returned to limited on-court training. Though he is skeptical of the situation given current circumstances, Nadal did express confidence that the United States Tennis Association will provide a safe environment for the players whenever the tournament is played.
“I am confident they will make the right decision in the right moment to make sure if the tournament is played, it will be in safe circumstances,” Nadal said. “If not, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense.”
Recently, USTA chief executive of tennis Stacey Allaster said that no final decisions have been made on the tournament, but there have been discussions about how best to provide a safe environment for the players and all involved.