The doomed 2020 tennis season has been seeing glimpses of revival these days, as the WTA season is set to resume the week of August 3rd in Palermo, Italy, and the US Open will take place after all, on the originally scheduled dates. Serena Williams can’t wait to get back to action and, as it was revealed during yesterday’s USTA press conference, the American is privileged to be practicing on the actual surface of the 2020 US Open, as well as of the Western & Southern Open, which will precede the Grand Slam at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
It will be a very weird edition of the US Open — without spectators, without qualifying, juniors, mixed doubles and wheelchair competition, etc. As some lower-ranked players have pointed out, the coronavirus staging of the major is only expanding the gap between top players and those who need opportunity for growth. Moreover, depending on their location, athletes have had disproportionate training conditions during the coronavirus pandemic — some had access to gyms and tennis courts throughout, while some have only been doing some exercises at home and recently started hitting balls.
As we learned from newly-appointed US Open Tournament Director Stacey Allaster, Serena Williams has had the surface provided by Laykold for the 2020 US Open and the Western & Southern Open shipped to her house, so she has a new court in her backyard and has definitely been training.
Joining the conference through a video call, Serena expressed her excitement about competing again:
I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and evening is perfect and everyone is safe.
It’s going to be exciting. It’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis. I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong. Just being out there in the New York crowd, hearing everyone cheer, I’ll miss that, getting me through some of those tough matches.