US Open tennis preview: How will things pan out?

With the Covid-19 pandemic leaving its mark on the world affecting many sports, many fans have questioned what tennis events will make the decision to go ahead.

Novak Djokovic’s Adria Tour event faced strong criticism from none other than Nick Kyrgios and the media in general.

Several players had to withdraw with positive symptoms of Coronavirus and with the tournament not having proper Covid-secure protocols in place.

Despite the controversy this exhibition series faced (organised by world number one Djokovic) organisers of both the French Open and US Open have decided to go ahead with the respective events.

With play commencing on Monday 31st August this years tournament at Flushing Meadows will certainly be different with players not having had as much competitive practice.

On top of this a host of top players from the men and women’s side withdrawing themselves from the tournament.

The USTA have announced there will be no crowds with virtually no media allowed on site, with there also reportedly being fewer coaching teams.

Events such as the Cincinnati Masters and WTA events in Palermo, Prague , and Lexington are taking place in a week prior to the start of the US Open which gives players that vital preparation needed before heading into a major Grand Slam tournament.

An interesting factor will be seeing how players react without the crowd noise or support, with the Arthur Ashe crowd notably seating the more raucous of tennis fans.

Notable absentees on the women’s side include defending US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, world number one Ashleigh Barty, world number two Simona Halep and last years semi-finalists Elina Svitolinia and Belinda Bencic.

The men’s side has also faced casualties with Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Juan Martin Del Potro , and Nick Kyrgrios all opting to stay away. Japan’s Kei Nishikori may also miss out after testing positive for Coronavirus.

The tournament favourites will be Serena Williams who is being tipped to handle the occasion better with the no fans element being able to play to her strengths. While Novak Djokovic with an easier field opening up for the Serbian.

Although some star-power may be missing, tennis fans will be delighted to see a Grand Slam tournament being played out with the cancellation of Wimbledon being the first time the British tournament was cancelled since the second world war.

Perhaps in the tournament this time round it is designed for a plucky underdog to come out the victor, only time will tell.

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