During the months of the lockdown, Rafael Nadal had argued that this season would most likely be canceled due to the Coronavirus emergency. However, the main tennis bodies did not follow this direction, planning the resumption of the year in mid-August with the Washington tournament.
The Citi Open will precede the Cincinnati Masters, which will take place exceptionally in Flushing Meadows to avoid further displacements of the players before the US Open (scheduled in New York from August 31st). The calendar will obviously be very compressed, since after the US Open the season on clay will begin with the tournaments in Madrid and Rome.
Roland Garros will kick off on September 27th, waiting to find out the fate of the Asian tour and the events on European hard court (the fate of which will be known in mid-July). In a recent Tennis Majors interview, Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou focused on whether Nadal could play both the US Open and Roland Garros.
Mouratoglou: 'A big advantage for Rafael Nadal'
"For sure it's going to help natural clay-courters like Rafael Nadal," Patrick Mouratoglou said. "Rafael Nadal is gonna have a big advantage, basically all Spanish players and players from South America.
It's also gonna be a big plus for players like Stan Wawrinka and Dominic Thiem. I still think the top players like Rafael Nadal will find a way, because they have a margin, and are protected at the Grand Slams. I don't think there is gonna be a physical danger of playing.
Since not all the players will be in the final, they'll have more than one week to prepare for the next tournament," he added. "To have both the tournaments so close, in a few weeks, is an incredible challenge. Already, the players will be feeling that the time they have is not enough.
And especially for the best ones, because they are expected to go far in the two Grand Slams, and they have such little time to prepare for the first one," Mouratoglou finished. Meanwhile, Serena Williams committed to play at this year's US Open on Wednesday as US Tennis Association officials vowed they can safely stage the first Grand Slam since the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
"I really can't wait to return to the US Open 2020," Serena Williams said in a video message. "I think the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everyone is going to be safe. This is crazy. I'm excited." New York City has had more than 17,000 COVID-19-related deaths, driving New York's death toll higher than any other state.
The top 128 or so players who are eligible for the main draw are the lucky ones. There will be no qualifying in New York this year, which deprives players ranked down to around 250 the chance to earn Grand Slam prize money and ranking points which can make or break a season.