Novak Djokovic Concerned About 'Extreme' US Open Protocols Like Airport Hotels and No Access to Manhattan

By Stephen Douglas
Jun 8, 2020, 1:19 PM EDT
Novak Djokovic at the 2019 US Open
Novak Djokovic at the 2019 US Open | Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
facebooktwitter

The US Open is scheduled to take place in Queens, NY between August 31st and September 13th. If it happens, it will be the first tennis Grand Slam event of the year. As the first, it's going to have to figure out everything with no blueprint and it's going to have to do so in the city that has so far been hit hardest by coronavirus in the entire United States. In an interview with Serbia's Prva TV, Djokovic pointed out that the tournament was still technically up in the air, and voiced some concerns about the current plans. Via ESPN:

""The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme. We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week. Also, we could bring one person to the club, which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.""

While two weeks in a hotel near La Guardia does sound like a Hell no one should ever deal with, "no access to Manhattan" should definitely be classified as one of tennis' "first-world problems" in the face of a global pandemic. This could only be topped by an NBA star complaining they can't visit Harry Potter World while the NBA is at Disney World.

Then there's Djoker's concern about his entire team not being allowed to attend matches. Presumably they will have trainers and physios on premises. Maybe they'll allow Zoom consultations. I would suggest a ball boy could hold the iPad, but are they going to have ball boys and ball girls? That should be just as interesting as seeing a pro try to rub out a calf cramp on their own in the 90-degree heat of a Queens summer afternoon.

facebooktwitter