Tennis world No. 1 Novak Djokovic has said participating in the U.S. Open would be an impossible task due to the "extreme" COVID-19 protocols in place for the tournament at Flushing Meadows in NY.
Speaking to Serbia's state broadcaster RTS on Tuesday, Djokovic said the restrictions that would be in place for the Grand Slam tournament in NY because of the coronavirus pandemic would be "extreme" and not "sustainable".
"The rules and regulations they informed us about, that we would have to follow in case we play in the U.S. Open, are really extreme", Djokovic said in a previous interview with Serbian channel TV Prva. Djokovic called that policy "simply unthinkable, because you need a tennis coach, fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist; a great team of people".
Djokovic said he held a telephone conversation with the "leaders of world tennis", discussing the season's continuation and mostly the US Open.
Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, is fretting about "harsh" restrictions on players' entourages and other "extreme" changes proposed for the U.S. Open, if it is played starting in August.
World No. 2 Rafael Nadal had also said he would not travel to the USA under the present circumstances.
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The suspension of the tennis season was last extended until the end of July but Djokovic, a three-time champion in NY, is not sure the tournament will go ahead.
And now Djokovic, a three-time victor of the tournament, has said the safety restrictions imposed, including a ban on travel to Manhattan and only being allowed one person with him, are "extreme".
While Nadal seemed to favor a postponement of the US Open, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic slammed the various safety criteria in discussion. "Today", he said, "I will say, 'No.' In a couple of months?"
The Serb suggested economic factors were behind the push to play the tournament.
Tournaments may yet get the green light, but the final, most vital ingredient is the players, and should the majority be against playing then the prospect of any event going ahead would be severely unlikely.
"There has to be a bit of give and take from the players, there are rumours that the US Open really need this to go ahead and I think as tennis players we should give something back and get out there and play".
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The Spaniard does not think tournaments should restart until every single player is able to travel freely and safely.
"I don't think having one person of your team only allowed is such a big deal", Evans said.
The U.S. Open has not publicly released its protocols.
"Not everyone's travelling with physios and fitness trainers like Novak said, so I think his argument there is not really valid for the rest of the draw, apart from the real top guys".
Spain's Rafael Nadal celebrates after winning the Mexican Open in Acapulco, Mexico, February 29, 2020.
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