India's top ranked singles tennis player Sumit Nagal says he would be very surprised if the US Open does take place in August as the pandemic situation in the United States is not looking very good.
Sumit Nagal on the US Open
Speaking to the Indian daily Mid-Day, Nagal says, "I'll be very surprised if the US Open happens this year because things are not looking good in America and the government will not be too happy to see a lot of people entering their country."
The Indian was speaking after playing his first event in four months - the PSD Bank Nord Open title at the Nensel Tennis Academy in Pinneberg, near Hamburg, where he beat German Daniel Masur 6-1, 6-3 in the final. "This was a small tournament with not more than 100 people but everyone was screened for their body temperature, every seat in the house was sanitised every 30-40 minutes and masks were compulsory."
Speaking about playing his first tournament after a lengthy lay-off, Nagal says, "More than the win, it was great to get back into competition after four months. We [tennis players] are used to playing every week or second week, so a four-month break is unheard of, unless there is a serious injury.
Most of the players were in the top 250, so the competition was pretty good too." The 22 year old Nagal says finances continue to be a problem for players who are used to depending on prize money to survive and he thinks the ATP Tour should be doing more in this regard.
"Finances are a problem because we rely on prize money from tournaments, but there have been no events. Even some of my sponsors are having problems and I can understand their situation. It's great that some of the world's top players have started a fund for those who aren't earning much, but the ATP should be doing a lot more than what they are.
It's not like they have to take care of a million players. It's just a few hundred. They keep saying that they're trying their best, but it's been four months and it's sad that they haven't done much."
Sumit Nagal is currently ranked No. 127 in the world and is best known for qualifying for the US Open to make his grand slam main draw debut where faced Roger Federer in the first round. He lost the match in four sets.