French tennis legend Henri Leconte says that the US Open Grand Slam tournament in New York in August should be cancelled since many players are not keen on travelling to the United States in the current environment.
Henri Leconte says the US Open must be cancelled
Speaking to Ouest France about plans to hold the US Open and the French Open, Leconte says, "It (the US Open) is not possible, it must be canceled.
I think a lot of players are not going to go there. First for health reasons, the pandemic is far from over. And also because you cannot compete in a Grand Slam behind closed doors. I don't even dare imagine the atmosphere it would have.
We saw it with Mouratoglou's UTS, watching a game from your screen does not have the same flavor. The French Federation and Guy Forget (Tournament Director) had the courage to want to postpone the French Open. Already, it won't be in camera.
Today, we are fortunate to have a superb central office at Roland Garros, with coverage and lighting on all terrains. This will not interrupt the match. The playing conditions will obviously not be the same, but it is part of the game."
Leconte says that the tennis bodies must work together to help keep the sport afloat during these times. "We must stop always wanting more, more, otherwise we will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. It's time to move on to another model and get back to simpler, healthier things.
We have to reinvent ourselves. The WTA and ATP could, for example, come together to organize mixed tournaments. It would bring in more people. One could also consider rationalizing circuits in a geographic area for a while. This would avoid travel and allow costs to be amortized.
I think this is a good formula, both for the players and for those who will follow them." Leconte, the last Frenchman to reach the final at Roland Garros, says that French player Gael Monfils has the potential to win the tournament.
"I think Gaël Monfils has the potential. I saw that he recently withdrew from a tournament in Austria, probably to prepare well. Afterwards, there may be many surprises this year. The favorites are always the same. But we do not know what can happen, we can have a pleasant surprise"
Henri Leconte also won the French Open men's doubles title in 1984, and helped France win the Davis Cup in 1991. Leconte's career-high singles ranking was world No. 5.