Even though there have been discussions on staging this year’s US Open behind closed doors, Simona Halep can’t see the American Grand Slam taking place this way, invoking that tennis is a whole different sport without the fans.
“I don’t think it will work. The atmosphere will be completely different. We all like to play on big stages, full of passionate fans. Without them, tennis is another sport!” Simona said for Digi Sport. Halep is not confident that she will get to play this year, so starting to play once autumn arrives is the best scenario from the Romanian’s point of view.
“However, every match that we will play during this period will be a bonus. I will be happy if I will hit one ball this year. If we play in September, I would be very happy,” said Halep. USTA’s chief executive, Mike Dowse, has a similar opinion to Simona.
Asked if US Open will take place without spectators, he didn’t deny entirely, but has stated that it is “unlikely”. "We're not taking anything off the table right now, but to be honest and open, I think that's highly unlikely.
That's not really in the spirit of the celebration of tennis, and it also goes back to the health and wellbeing of our players and support staff that help run the tournament,” said Dowse. "Unless the medical experts come up with a solution that truly is foolproof and safe, we don't see that as an option,” he continued.
However, we will have to wait until June to see US Open’s final decision on whether the Grand Slam will take place or not, and in what circumstances.