Japan's top players on the tennis circuit - Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori - are looking to compete at this year's US Open Grand Slam event, their management company said on Tuesday as per a report by Kyodo News.
Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori looking to play at the US Open
Former World No.
1 Naomi Osaka and former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori, who are both currently in the United States, are looking to compete in the American Grand Slam event which is scheduled to be held from August 31st in New York. Osaka is a former winner of the event, having won the title in 2018 and has been training in California to prepare for the tour's return while Nishikori has been practicing in Florida as he prepares a return to the tour from an injury.
He reached the U.S. Open final in 2014 and has since reached the semifinals twice. Nishikori is currently recovering from a right elbow injury. The tennis circuit has been shut down since March due to the global pandemic. Organizers of the US Open are planning to go ahead with the event although many top players have expressed their concern about travelling to the tournament with the proposed guidelines and restrictions of the event.
The organizers are expected to make a formal announcement of the same this week and are waiting for a go-ahead from the New York state government. If the tournament does go ahead, they are likely to impose strict health protocols which include no fans, limited support staff per player, players staying in one hotel during their stay in New York and having restricted access to other parts of the city.
Many of the top players based outside the United States have expressed concerns about travelling and the proposed guidelines, including men's World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Women's World No. 1 Ash Barty and women's World No.
2 Simona Halep, amongst others. The U.S. Open is usually the final tournament among the four Grand Slams. The French Open, which usually takes place at the end of May, has been postponed to the end of September while the Wimbledon Championships have been cancelled for the first time since World War II due to the pandemic.
22 year old Naomi Osaka is a two-time Grand Slam winner and is currently ranked No. 10 in the world while 31 year old Kei Nishikori is currently ranked No. 31 in the world.