The 33-year-old has won 17 Grand Slams in his illustrious career.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has raised his concerns regarding the future of tennis amid COVID-19 pandemic and said that safety protocols for the US Open are extreme to follow.
The fourth and last Grand Slam of the year is slated to be held from August 24 to September 13 at the Flushing Meadows in New York. The United States Tennis Association (USTA), organisers of the tournament, has made it clear that they are keen to host the event.
“I had a telephone conversation with the leaders of world tennis, there were talks about the continuation of the season, mostly about the US Open due in late August, but it is not known whether it will be held,” said Novak Djokovic to Prva TV.
“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme.”
The Serbian star further explained why it is difficult for players like him to follow the protocols. He remarked, “We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.”
“Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist. All their suggestions are really rigorous but I can understand that due to financial reasons, due to already existing contracts, organisers (want the event to be) held. We will see what will happen.”
Meanwhile, defending champion Rafael Nadal has already expressed his desire to skip the tournament if the coronavirus situation doesn’t get better in the coming months. The 19-time Grand Slam champion said on Thursday that tournaments should not start until every single player can travel freely and safely.
The USTA, however, is keen to start the tournament and said they are aiming to organize the Grand Slam on the scheduled dates. It is also looking to restrict the number of fans inside the venue.
Chris Widmaier, the USTA’s head of communications, explained, “The USTA continues to model many different scenarios regarding the 2020 US Open. Our top goal is to conduct the US Open in New York in our scheduled dates. To that end, we are modeling many potential scenarios which include both limited fans and potentially no fans on site for the event.”
The total numbers of COVID-19 cases have crossed 6.66 million mark all over the world so far with 3,93,000 fatalities.