Former world No. 4 Greg Rusedski says the US Open must go ahead for the sake of tennis as the former British No. 1 thinks it could help the game gain new followers. The tennis season has been suspended since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic and in the best case scenario we will see the return of tennis in August.
The United States Tennis Association has stated the plans to stage the US Open as initially scheduled from August 31 - September 13 are ongoing but they are closely monitoring the situation and some changes could be made.
"We need to find a way to get the US Open on this year, without or without spectators,” Ruseski told Tennis365 in an exclusive interview, per Sport24. “So long as we can do it in a way that is safe for all the players and everyone involved, and I think we can, we have to try and do it.
"Think about the millions of fans around the world who will be watching if we get tennis back. This is a chance to bring tennis to an even bigger audience than usual and even if we don’t have fans in the stadiums, we will have them in their millions around the world watching on TV.
“It would be a unique experience, even if there were no fans there it would be something we would remember throughout time, that we played a major during the time of the coronavirus pandemic."
Greg Rusedski says social distancing won't be a problem at Flushing Meadows
Rusedski is happy to see tennis players across the world returning to practices and to competitive action by playing some domestic events as he notes the health and safety is still the top priority.
"The site of the US Open is massive and with no spectators there, social distancing would not be a problem. Corporate suites will not be used, there is enough space for everyone involved in the event and there could also be enough space to designate a separate area to every player involved in the event if required," Rusedski said.
“We still have June, July and August before the US Open is due to being played and by then, a lot of businesses will have opened up again and so long as the players feel safe and we can do it the right way then we need to find a way to get tennis back.
“A lot of the players have posted videos this week showing them getting back to training and we want to see where they are all at and get some matches back on our screens”. Greg Rusedski made his maiden Grand Slam final at the US Open in 1997 but failed to lift the title.