French tennis player Richard Gasquet says he finds it hard to see how this year's US Open Grand Slam tournament would go ahead due to the restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Richard Gasquet on the US Open
The US Open is currently scheduled to go ahead with the main draw starting on August 31, as New York has been the epicentre of the virus outbreak in the United States.
Speaking to the AFP ahead of the start of the Ultimate Tennis Showdown in France, Gasquet says, "I find it hard to see for the US Open, everything is unclear. Nobody knows, it's difficult to imagine the US Open being held."
The men's ATP Tour held a video conference with players earlier this week to discuss plans to resume the season in August in the United States but Gasquet says nothing came out of the meeting. "Nothing came out of it.
But there's still two months to go. Nobody can be sure. The (proposed) conditions are difficult, but it's feasible. Anything is possible." On the proposed restrictions at the US Open, Gasquet says, "You arrive over there, you go to the hotel, you stay in your hotel room.
There's no doubt about that. It's normal, it's to protect yourself and others, so you don't do anything." The Frenchman, who is a former semi-finalist at the US Open Grand Slam event, says that he did worry, if the event went on, about the players coming in from countries where the virus was still a big concern.
Several players had indicated that they were not comfortable traveling to the United States under the proposed restrictions. These include World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut and women's World No.
2 Simona Halep. Several of the lower ranked players, including Britain's Dan Evans and American Danielle Collins, have urged the top players to support the Grand Slam and play the event. The US Open is one of the four Grand Slams on the tennis circuit.
Wimbledon has been cancelled this year and the French Open has been postponed to the end of September as of now. Richard Gasquet is a former World No. 7 and has won 15 ATP tour titles in his career. He reached the semi-finals of the 2007 and 2015 Wimbledon Championships and the 2013 US Open.
He also won the French Open mixed doubles Grand Slam ttile at the 2004 French Open, with Tatiana Golovin and an Olympic bronze medal in 2012 with Julien Benneteau.