Report: USTA Eyes New York 'Doubleheader' to Help Save 2020 US Open

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 2, 2020

Roger Federer, center, of Switzerland, returns a shot to Frances Tiafoe, of the United States, under the closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium during the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in New York. Play was suspended on the outer courts because of rain. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The United States Tennis Association is reportedly considering using the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York to host consecutive tournaments in an attempt to save the 2020 U.S. Open. 

Per Christopher Clarey of the New York Times, the USTA has proposed moving the Western & Southern Open from Ohio to New York to "establish a safer bubble for competitors" and lead into the U.S. Open. 

Clarey did note it remains "far from certain" either tournament will be played this year, but establishing a central hub would make it easier for the USTA to receive "the needed support of government and public health officials as they manage the outbreak, travel and the economy."

The plan comes in the wake of Stacey Allaster, USTA chief executive for professional tennis, telling the Associated Press (via Tennis.com) that the association was looking into offering players and small entourages charter flights from different countries into New York with the hope of being able to play the U.S. Open. 

Allaster noted players would have to pass COVID-19 tests before traveling, stay in centralized housing and get daily temperature checks if the plan comes to fruition. She also said an announcement about the U.S. Open should come at some point from "mid-June to end of June."

Some tour officials suggested to Clarey there could be "insurmountable obstacles" to the plan, notably "quarantine rules that could require some athletes to self-isolate after arriving in the United States and again in Europe after returning."

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The plan must be approved by the USTA, which owns the men's Western & Southern Open event, and sports and entertainment agency Octagon, which owns the women's Western & Southern Open. 

It's unclear if the two-tournament plan would alter the currently scheduled dates for the events. Fans would most likely not be allowed in the stands. 

The Western & Southern Open is scheduled to run from Aug. 17 to 23. The U.S. Open main draw is scheduled to begin on Aug. 31 and end on Sept. 13. 

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