Six-time singles title-winner Serena Williams committed to play at this year’s US Open on Wednesday as US Tennis Association officials vowed they can safely stage the first Grand Slam since the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
With some of the top men’s stars questioning the wisdom of the staging the event, the USTA said the event will go ahead as planned from August 31 to September 13 without spectators at New York’s National Tennis Center, which in April became a temporary hospital facility to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
“I really can’t wait to return to the US Open 2020,” Serena Williams said in a video message. “I think the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everyone is going to be safe.
“This is crazy. I’m excited.”
Serena reached the finals of her home Major in 2018 and 2019, losing to Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andrescu respectively. She is one title short of equalling Margaret Court’s all-time Major tally (24).
The Flushing Meadows fortnight will be the first Grand Slam event staged since the deadly virus outbreak shut down global sport. Wimbledon was cancelled and the French Open was postponed until September.
The site will also host the ATP Western and Southern Open, typically staged in Cincinnati, the week before the US…