The US Open organisers have said they could a better communication with the wheelchair athletes before announcing they would not be part of this year’s scaled-down event at the Flushing Meadows in New York, adding that they are now rethinking their decision.
On Friday, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) held a call with wheelchair tennis leadership during which they stated they should have worked in a “collaborative manner” with wheelchair athletes when developing the plan for the US Open set to be played from August 31 to September 13 with restrictions amid COVID-19 pandemic.
“The USTA also committed to working with the players and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) to explore a number of potential scenarios for the wheelchair competition,” USTA said in a statement posted on their Twitter handle.
“The USTA expects to gather player feedback on their perspective and work with the ITF to finalise an approach to the 2020 US Open Wheelchair Competition,” the statement added.
Australian nine-time Grand Slam singles title winner Dylan Alcott had on Thursday slammed the US Open organisers on Twitter for excluding wheelchair tennis players from this year’s schedule.
However, on Friday, Alcott said top tennis players like Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic are supporting the push to include wheelchair tennis in the upcoming Grand Slam.
While there are no deductions in participation in the singles main-draw events, there will be no qualification tournaments and the men’s and women’s doubles are restricted to 32 teams each as opposed to the usual 64. Mixed doubles, junior tournaments and wheelchair tennis are omitted.