US Open 2020: Everything you need to know
The Grand Slam season is all set to make a comeback with the impending US Open edition. Despite reservations put forward by some marquee players, the organizers have given a green signal to the mega event. The US Open will run as per the original schedule (August 31-September 13), at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Here are further details.
World number two Rafael Nadal won't be participating in the US Open due to safety concerns. His Swiss counterpart Roger Federer had earlier ruled himself out of the season. Former champion Stan Wawrinka and world number nine Gael Monfils will also miss the tournament. Among women, world number one Ashleigh Barty will not be competing, while title holder Bianca Andreescu has also withdrawn.
This will be the first time since 1999 when both Nadal and Federer will not participate in a Grand Slam event. In this case, Djokovic appears to be the front-runner for the title. The Serbian could win his 18th Grand Slam singles title. He is only behind Federer (20) and Nadal (19) on the list. Notably, Djokovic last won US Open in 2018.
Novak Djokovic headlines the New York event along with last year's runner-up Daniil Medvedev. The other top-10 players include Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev. Meanwhile, the women's entrants include 13 Grand Slam winners and nine of the world's top-10 players. The 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams stars alongside Romania's Simona Halep and the reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin.
Former US Open champions Andy Murray and Kim Clijsters lead the list of wild card entrants for the tournament. The men's wild card list also includes Ulises Blanch, Maxime Cressy, Sebastian Korda, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski, Michael Mmoh, Brandon Nakashima, and JJ Wolf. Other women players on the list are Usue Arconada, CiCi Bellis, Francesca Di Lorenzo, Caroline Dolehide, Ann Li, Robin Montgomery, and Whitney Osuigwe.
The players at this year's tournament will be compensated with a total amount of $53.4 million, which represents nearly 95 percent of the sum that was distributed in 2019. In the men's and women's singles draws, the first-round prize money has increased by 5 percent compared to 2019 (from $58,000 to $61,000), while prize money of second and third rounds remains unchanged.
As expected, this year's US Open will be played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the players and officials will have to follow stringent protocols during the course of the tournament. For starters, they will be unable to travel with their staff. While the players will stay in bio-secure hotels, the COVID-19 tests will still be conducted on a regular basis.