US Open officials have confirmed that they were exploring the option of moving the late-summer tournament from New York to California as a result of the coronavirus, but a new report suggests that Orlando is also being considered as a possible location.
According to The Telegraph, the tournament may be staged behind closed doors in Orlando late in the year due to the pandemic. The city’s USTA National Campus, a newly-built complex with 100 tennis courts, would be the site of the tournament if the plan pans out rather than its longtime home at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.
This new report is not far off from the California option, which USTA executive director Michael Dowse confirmed that if implemented, would see the tournament take place in November. For right now, however, the US Open is still planned to take place in New York August 31 to September 13, though officials are monitoring the situation. A formal decision on the tournament’s fate is expected sometime next month.
“All of us want the US Open to happen and we are ready to help with increased testing and to help players get in and out of the country,” Dowse said earlier this month. “We have three priorities: 1) the health and well-being of the players, staff, fans and all those involved; 2) what’s good for tennis; and 3) the financial impact. Everything is still on the table and we’ll be going forward based on the three-phase approach noted in the federal guidelines.”
Tennis is now the latest major sport reportedly considering Orlando as a neutral site for competition. The NBA and MLS are said to be exploring the possibility of resuming their suspended seasons at the ESPN Wide World of Sports, a Disney-owned property in Orlando.
The US Open and French Open are now the two remaining grand slams of the 2020 tennis season, as the Australian Open was completed in January and Wimbledon cancelled its summer event for the first time in 75 years.