World no.1 Novak Djokovic has announced that he will be playing in the US Open on August 31. He has joined the train of players who will be going to New York to play in the tournament, including Serena Wiliams, Andy Murray, and a lot more. He confessed that this was not an easy decision for him to make taking into consideration his and his teammate’s health.
Good news for the sport
Novak Djokovic took to Twitter to reveal the good news. “I am happy to confirm that I’ll participate at Cincy Tennis and US Open this year. It was not an easy decision to make with all the obstacles and challenges on many sides, but the prospect of competing again makes me excited”.
Djokovic had tested positive for the coronavirus three weeks ago after participating in the Adria Tour, which he helped organize. Since then Novak has apologized and admitted he was wrong for organizing the tour events in Croatia and Serbia after he became one of the players who had tested positive for the virus
A few months ago, Djokovic said he would not play in the US Open due to the extreme coronavirus protocols. So his sudden change of mind comes as a shock to his most fans. He believes he is in great health and is ready to play even though things will be completely different because of the pandemic.
“I am aware that this time around, it will be very different with all the protocols and safety measures that are put in place to protect players and people of New York. Nevertheless, I have trained hard with my team and got my body in shape, so I’m ready to adapt to new conditions”. He said, “I’ve done all the check-ups to make sure I am fully recovered, and I am ready to get back on court fully committed to playing the best tennis,” he added.
Djokovic will be defending his US Open title and also compete in the Western and Southern Open, which will be played later at Flushing Meadows instead of Cincinnati.
Top athletes who are playing and those who are sitting out
The very recent top player who announced participation was Serena Williams. The 38-year-old will aim toward her 24th Grand slam Title. She understands the risks involved in traveling to participate in the US Open but is committed to doing so because she believed Tennis is naturally a social distancing sport.
She also trusts the protocols that have been laid down to protect them. And the very recent athletes to opt-out of the tournament are Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens. They have joined the growing list, including men’s defending champion Rafael Nadal and women’s no.1 Ashleigh Barty to opt-out.
They have decided not to play in both the US Open and the Western and Southern Open because of health concerns. The Ukrainian World no.5 Svitolina took to twitter to express her concern. “I understand and respect all the efforts they are putting into making it happen in a safe environment, but I still don’t feel comfortable to travel to the US without putting my team and myself at high risk.”
28-year-old Bertens still recognizes the prevalence of the Covid-19 and believes the health of everyone and the control over the virus is a major priority.
After many thoughts, Rafael Nadal decided not to defend his US Open title because of the complicated situation around Covid-19. “This is a decision I never wanted to take, but I have decided d to follow my heart this time, and for the time being, I rather not travel.” Nadal tweeted earlier this month.
Just like every other player, he understands and respects that the organization is doing all they can to guarantee their safety, but he is still not comfortable.
There will be no fans in attendance at the US Open, the organization is trying their best to provide a bio-secure bubble to hold the tournament, but players, including Andy Murray, are concerned about the mandatory quarantine protocol they will have to face upon returning home from the grand slam.
Some fans believe that Djokovic playing means he wants to add one easy Grand Slam Title to the many he has since a lot of players who could have competed tightly with him have opted out. In short, they aren’t very impressed