USTA CEO: US Open still on for August

Louis Armstrong Stadium
Louis Armstrong Stadium at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. (Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)

For now, the US Open is still a go for its Aug. 24 start this summer, USTA CEO Mike Dowse told the media on a conference call Thursday morning. 

Dowse noted that he is working closely with medical professionals and a small advisory group to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and make a proper call on the viability of playing out the tournament in the coming months. 

An official announcement for the major tennis tournament hosted in Queens is expected to come in June. 

“Time is on our side at this point,” Dowse added. 

The US Open is usually the last Grand Slam tournament on professional tennis’ schedule each year, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has dramatically altered the sports’ landscape in 2020. 

On April 1, Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since World War II while the French Open was pushed back from a May 24 start, to Sept. 20. 

The 2020 Australia Open was completed just before the outbreak, running from Jan. 20-Feb. 2. Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka won the singles tournaments. 

While the fate of this year’s US Open remains up in the air, the tournament’s home at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows has been transformed as centers to help New York combat the spread of coronavirus. 

An indoor training area has been converted into a 350-bed medical facility while the 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong was made into commissary in which 25,000 meals will be prepared daily for medical patients and healthcare workers along with schoolchildren.