Evans dismisses Djokovic's US Open concerns over COVID-19 protocols


World number one Novak Djokovic has called the coronavirus safety protocols, planned in order for the US Open to take place, "extreme".

The Grand Slam at Flushing Meadows is scheduled to begin on August 31, but with NY one of the cities hardest hit by coronavirus there are doubts over whether the tournament can take place.

"Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible".

The 33-year-old Serb said he talked to "leaders of world tennis" and it is still uncertain if tennis would continue this season and if the U.S. tournament would be held in August.

"Most of the players I have talked to were quite negative on whether they would go there", Djokovic said.

World No.2 Rafael Nadal said earlier this week that he is not now prepared to travel overseas for tournaments due to global health fears and quarantine restrictions.

While the tennis world awaits a decision, which could come as soon as next week, from the U.S. Tennis Association's board about whether to hold the Grand Slam tournament in NY amid the coronavirus pandemic - and if so, with what precautions - there are plenty of questions surrounding the event.

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".

Women's world number one Ashleigh Barty has also expressed doubts over travelling to the US
Women's world number one Ashleigh Barty has also expressed doubts over travelling to the US

The Serb suggested economic factors were behind the push to play the tournament. "Today", he said, "I will say, 'No.' In a couple of months?"

Novak Djokovic says it would be unreasonable to expect each player to have just one support person for the US Open. He thinks that other players may have a tough time accepting those terms.

"There has to be considered a bit of give and just take from the players, you will find rumours that the US Open absolutely need this to go ahead and I think as tennis players we should give something straight back and escape there and play".

"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".

During the 2019 U.S. Open, Djokovic had his own trailer with an oxygen chamber parked near the premises for his exclusive use, according to The Daily Mail.

"I am confident they will make the right decisions in the right moment to be sure that if [the US Open] is played it is going to be under extremely safe circumstances - if not, in my opinion, it doesn't make sense".

According to the BBC, the ATP and U.S. Tennis Association are still reaching out to players to discuss the viability of holding the U.S. Open in late August, as scheduled.

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