A lot is being said regarding the consummate of the first tennis Grand Slam after this sport’s return. With his beggining scheduled to august 31st in New York, US Open is watching a lot of tennis players announcing their withdrawals due to fear regarding the Covid-19 pandemic that shook all the world, and in particular, the United States.
NADAL AND FEDERER AMONGST THE MALE ABSENCES
During the last weeks, there were several cases of international renowned and well ranked players who have announced they will not participate in the US Open 2020, due to fear of contracting the infection caused by the new coronavirus, which continues to provoke several victims in the north-american territory, being New York one of the most affected states by the pandemic.
Joining Roger Federer, who continues his recovery from a knee injury and who previously knew he would not play again in 2020, are 8 other players from the ATP ranking top-10 who will not participate in the US Open, which will take place in a bubble created by the north-american federation, that will also organize the Cincinnati Masters, which will start next saturday.
One of the big names in the withdrawals list is Rafael Nadal, current number 2 of the ATP rankings and US Open’s title holder.
The spanish tennis player has announced he will not defend his 2019 title, thus missing the opportunity of reaching Roger Federer in number of Grand Slams titles.
On social network Instagram, Nadal declared that “after thinking a lot, i decided not to participate in the US Open. The sanitarian situation remains very complicated throughout the whole world, with covid-19 cases that seem out of control.
We know that this end of season calendar, after 4 months of interruption, is barbarian but i thank all the efforts from all parts for the tournaments to resume”, he said.
Joining Nadal and Federer are Monfils (9th in the ranking), Fábio Fognini (11th), Stan Wawrinka (17th) , Nick Kyrgios (40th), Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (49th), Lucas Pouille (58th), Pierre Hughes Herbert (71st) and Alexei Popyrin (103rd), amongst the male absences.
In the opposite way, Portugal will be represented by tennis players João Sousa and Pedro Sousa, while Brazil will have Thiago Monteiro and Thiago Wild in the north-american tournament that will be the second Grand Slam to happen in 2020, after Wimbledon’s cancellation and Roland Garros postponement to next september.
ASHLEIGH BARTY, SIMONA HALEP AND BIANCA ANDREESCU WILL ALSO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE 2020 US OPEN
Amongst the more than two dozens of female withdrawals, one of the main names is Simona Halep, who recently won the Prague Open, the second european tournament played after the forced interruption due to the pandemic, being the current number 2 in the WTA rankings.
Also Ashley Barty, current ranking leader amongst women, and Bianca Andreescu, US Open’s title holder, have announced they will not participate in the Grand Slam which will have more missing players from women’s top 10 than participants.
Joining the three names already referred are Elina Svitolina (5th), Kiki Bertens (7th), and Belinda Bencic (8th).
Fiona Ferro’s absence, current number 44 of WTA rankings and winner of Palermo’s WTA tournament, which was disputed in the beggining of this month in Italy, is also something that deserves being mentioned.
In order to fill those big absences, US Open has been promoting several invitations.
The north-american organization invited Kim Clijsters, 37 years old belgian player with three US Open titles in her resumé , and Andy Murray, british player who had his glory days in 2010 and 2016 winning several well renowned tournaments, with two Wimbledon titles and the 2012 US Open victory standing out of the rest.
FAVOURITISM CHANGE OF SCENARIO?
With the announcement of several withdrawals it’s natural that the winning odds associated with each tennis player changes of scenario.
Novak Djokovic, current number 1 of ATP ranking, already confirmed his participation and will be one of the main contenders to win the Grand Slam.
Also Dominic Thiem will be one of the participant names to have in mind, even because he his one of the players in best shape, at a time where we stride for the start of the tournament which will take place in New York, at Billy Jean King National Tennis Center, until september 13th.
Besides going through a great moment, the austrian player has performed in more matches than anyone after the resume of the season, having at his favour a great competitive rythm…in theory.