18 time Grand Slam champion Chris Evert says it is wonderful to see that the US Open facility can be used to house patients amidst the New York health crisis. A temporary hospital is being set up at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows to help ease off some of the stress on hospitals in New York.
Speaking to Vogue magazine, Evert says, "Their goal at Tennis Center is 350 hospital beds in the indoor training center and 25,000 meals being assembled in Louis Armstrong Stadium every day. It’s wonderful that we can use this big facility for something that’s bigger than tennis—bigger than any of us—and that the tennis community can contribute to something like this when New York is looking for any resource possible.
The atmosphere and the spirit and the big heart of Flushing is still there in what’s happening now but the stakes are so much higher. This is about life and death now; this is much bigger than a tournament. Tennis has stepped up—the All-England Club at Wimbledon has offered their facility to the National Health Service, and it’s been a beautiful thing to witness it all.
It makes me proud, as a player”. Evert says she sees the good side of humanity amidst this crisis and with regards to the tennis shutdown, she is certain that the tennis circuit will bounce back. “I am so concerned about the big picture that I haven’t really given much thought to tennis.
We’ve got such great champions, great fans, great sponsors, and I feel it will bounce back. When, I don’t know—wouldn’t it be amazing, after all this, if it came back at New York at the Open after all of this? But of course, nobody knows.
I do think we’ll be back on track next year. But I’ve been thinking more about the lives being lost and the big picture. It’s like something in a horror movie that seemed surreal at the time we first saw it, and now it’s happening in real life”.
Evert is currently in Boca Raton and says people there are becoming more cautious in recent days as compared to earlier and hopes that will stay for the coming weeks. "I’m starting to see more and more pedestrians wearing face masks, which they weren’t doing last week, but more of us still have to do the three things—wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and observe social distancing.
It’s been frustrating to see that maybe half the country seems to be doing this and the other half doesn’t. But I’m hoping that everyone gets a little more serious in April. In the meantime, I turn on my television and watch Andrew Cuomo, and my heart is lifted—and then I’m disappointed that he’s not our President”.
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