Former World No.1 Andy Murray has said that players require assurance they will not be subjected to mandatory quarantine after returning to Europe after participating in US Open before traveling to New York amid the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
United States Tennis Association (USTA), organizers of the tournament, will put in place a strict bio-security 'bubble' in order to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19 during the course of the grand slam, which will be held between August 31-September 13.
Risk of Players Pulling Out
The Western & Southern Open, which was relocated from Cincinnati this year because of COVID-19, will also be held in New York from August 20-28 and will serve as a tune-up for the hardcourt Grand Slam.
Mandatory quarantine would rule out players' participation in other ATP and WTA claycourt events scheduled in Europe before the French Open from the end of September. The two major claycourt events in the leadup to Roland Garros are in Madrid (September 13-20) and Rome (September 20-27).
While Spain does not require mandatory quarantine, Italy would need travelers to quarantine for 14 days if coming from the US The USTA has said the organizers are working with relevant authorities to resolve issues. "My understanding is that it would be sorted before we go to America. But things can change in the next 10 to 12 days," Murray told British media.
Unworkability of Quarantine
"Hopefully before we leave, the players will have the assurances that, when they come back from America, they won't have to quarantine for two weeks. If that is the case, and if you do well in the US Open, you can't just arrive on the Sunday before the French Open starts on the Monday. That's not going to work," said Murray.
Unites States has over 4.68 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 155,000 deaths. Murray, a three-time Grand Slam winner, has not played competitively since November due to hip problems but took part in some exhibition events recently with the professional circuit shut. The 33-year-old said he is willing to take the travel "risk" as he missed playing in big events.
"The situation I've been in the last few years, I've not had opportunity to play in many Slams. I don't know how many I'll have left," Murray said. "So, while I'm feeling relatively decent ... obviously there is a risk there, but I want to try and play in them and enjoy the biggest events again."
(With inputs from agencies)