American doubles star Rajeev Ram says players will always feel at risk of contracting the coronavirus until a vaccine becomes available. The tennis season has been suspended since March 12 due to the coronavirus outbreak and the suspension will last until at least July 31.
On April 1, Wimbledon got called off for the first time since 1945 and the ATP is expected to make the decision in mid-June on what to do with the summer hard-court season. In April, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic drew lots of attention when he publicly admitted he was opposed to coronavirus vaccination and that he would have to think what to do if a vaccine becomes compulsory.
"I don’t see players feeling 100% safe without a vaccine because there would always be a risk of contracting the virus,” Ram told WION TV, as revealed on Reuters. “The virus is so contagious and in any kind of sport, athletes are always in close contact with their peers ...
There is always going to be a risk without a vaccine."
Rajeev Ram says there are question marks surrounding the US Open
The United States Tennis Association is committed to finding a way to safely host the US Open and avoid a cancellation of the tournament.
The latest news surrounding the US Open is that the United States Tennis Association has proposed putting players in a bubble and hosting the Cincinnati Masters and US Open in New York. Also, the United States Tennis Association is considering flying players in by chartered flights and hosting the tournament with no fans in attendance.
Ram, ranked at No. 9 on the doubles ranking list, suggests hosting the US Open will also depend on the willingness of players to come and play. "I don’t think the U.S. open or any event will take place if a certain number of players feel uncomfortable or unsafe while playing," Ram said.
"We can’t have the U.S. Open until everyone who has qualified for the event is in a position to travel to the event, until that happens we are going to be at a standstil. “For the tournament to take place, a safe and secure environment must be created and the competition should also be fair on all tennis players."
Rajeev Ram, 36, claimed his maiden Grand Slam men's doubles title earlier this year when he and British partner Joe Salisbury won it all at the Australian Open.