Ashleigh Barty leads chorus of concerns over proposed US Open changes

The women’s world number one, Ashleigh Barty, has joined a chorus of leading players to outline her concerns at the potential staging of the US Open. Ahead of an expected announcement in the next 24 hours, Barty has followed Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, the winners of the last eight men’s majors, to express reservations about a range of proposed changes, including limits on player entourages for an event that is scheduled to begin on Aug 31. “I have concerns too,” Barty said. “I understand the tournaments are eager to run but keeping everyone safe has to be the priority.” A decision from the US Tennis Association’s board about whether to hold the Grand Slam tournament in New York is imminent. The United States has had more coronavirus deaths than anywhere in the world, including more than 30,000 in the state of New York alone. Djokovic last week told Serbia’s state broadcaster RTS that most players he’s talked to “were quite negative” about entering the US Open and that for him, “as things stand, most probably the season will continue on clay at the beginning of September”. Wimbledon has already been cancelled completely this year while the French Open was postponed from a May start to late September. Under usual circumstances, the US Open is the last of the four majors to be played in the season but could now follow the Australian Open as the second Grand Slam of the year.
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