ATP reaching return point ahead of US Open

 - Alex Sharp

The tennis circuit will spark back into action on the men’s side over in New York later this month.

Dominic Thiem & Novak Djokovic at Australian Open 2020©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

The women’s Tour has already reignited with Fiona Ferro lifting the trophy at the Palermo Ladies Open, prior to the WTA action rolling on into Prague and Lexington this week. Well, the ATP are also primed for competitive action on court States side, with the US Open then penned in to start on 31 August.

Masters 1000 relocated restart

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the Cincinnati Masters has had to be transferred to Flushing Meadows, the usual US Open site, from 22-28 August in the build-up to the next major. The event will mark the return to tennis for the men’s game and will welcome a strong field.

Two-time champion Andy Murray (2008 and 2011) leads an American trio of Tommy Paul, Tennys Sandgren and Frances Tiafoe as the wildcard selections for Cincinnati. Defending champion Daniil Medvedev and world No.1 Novak Djokovic are the marquee names down on the entry list, which includes the majority of the top-ranked stars hoping to find their groove for the US Open.

©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT

Nadal surrenders New York crown

Unfortunately, Rafael Nadal will relinquish his title at the US Open without playing. The world No.2, reigning champion at Roland-Garros too, has decided not to travel to New York. The 19-time Grand Slam winner declared: “This is a decision I never wanted to take, but I have decided to follow my heart this time and for the time being I rather not travel.”

Another noticeable absentee will be Roger Federer (recovering from knee surgery) alongside the likes of 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka and Australian Nick Kyrgios, who have announced they won’t attend due to health concerns. Former champions Andy Murray (2012) and Kim Clijsters (2005, 2009-10) lead the wildcard choices.

Defending women’s champion Bianca Andreescu is believed to be participating, whereas world No.1 Ash Barty, 2019 semi-finalist Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens will bypass the tournament.

Serena Williams has indicated that she will play the US Open and Roland-Garros in a bid to add to her 23 major trophy haul.

Both the Cincinnati Masters and US Open will be held without fans at Flushing Meadows and players will have to follow strict measures in order to compete.

Madrid off the map for tennis in 2020

Following the major action unfolding at Flushing Meadows, the ATP tour will continue over in Europe onto the clay on the road to Roland-Garros 2020. The calendar includes Kitzbuhel 250 (8 September), The Rome Masters (20 September), just prior to the tennis world focusing in on Roland-Garros (27 September).

One obvious missing event is the Madrid Masters, typically played in May, which was hoped to go ahead in September. However, the 2020 tournament has been cancelled in conjunction with local authorities.

“We have given our all to stage the tournament,” said Tournament Director Feliciano Lopez. “The continued instability is still too great to hold a tournament like this in complete safety.