The US Open of tennis will allow 100% of the capacity of spectators during its two full weeks in 2021, a year after the last edition of the tournament was held without an audience in the stands due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced Thursday that all court tickets and field passes will go on sale during the month of July. The last Grand Slam tournament of the year is scheduled at the Flushing Meadows facility in New York from August 30 to September 12.
The USTA's decision to return to its usual number of viewers is the last step in a return to normalcy for New York, and for fans of various sports, as the world emerges from more than a year of restrictions by Covid -19.
On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said many of the state's remaining social distancing rules would be relaxed because 70% of its adults have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The New York Mets also announced Wednesday that they will return to full capacity next week, while a crowd of 52,078 attended a baseball game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
The Indianapolis 500 on May 30 sold around 135,000 tickets, which is 40% of the capacity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For tennis, the US Open will be the first Grand Slam tournament to have a full attendance since the Australian Open in January and February 2020, shortly before the coronavirus outbreak turned into a full-blown pandemic.
The USTA held the 2020 US Open without spectators, significantly altering the atmosphere and competitive conditions at an event where raucous crowds are part of the stage, especially during night sessions at the 23,771-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Roger Federer crashed out of the 2021 Noventi Open in Halle on Wednesday with a 6-4, 3-6, 2-6 loss at the hands of Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Roger Federer on his loss in Halle
"I felt like I needed time to digest the third set," Roger Federer said.
"I was unhappy how it ended, was similar to Geneva one. I rather keep it short and simple, I rather take my time to come in, not sweaty and in the heat of it. Not sure what I'm gonna say in these moments, that's the reason why (I was late).
I was very negative, which is not my style," Roger Federer continued. "My attitude was bad, I'm not proud of it. That was disappointing. I don't want to make any stupid decisions now. We are now going back to Switzerland and have time to discuss what the next steps are."
On Wednesday the 39-year-old spoke about the difficulties of his rehabilitation period, and pointed out how playing on tour is not as easy as it once was. "The rehab process was a huge challenge for me," Federer said.
"Everybody who has had multiple surgeries knows what I'm talking about. Things don't come easy anymore and that's sometimes is the major concern."