Cuomo announces that US Open will be held without fans this year

Cuomo announces that US Open will be held without fans this year
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New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoJudge rejects 'right to travel' challenge to New York's coronavirus quarantine rules Marlee Matlin: 'Unfathomable' that White House doesn't have sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings California Democrats back Yang after he expresses disappointment over initial DNC lineup MORE (D) said Monday that the U.S. Open will be held on its originally scheduled dates without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The annual tennis championship tournament will take place from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13 in Queens. 

“The USTA [United States Tennis Association] will take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff, including robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing & transportation,” Cuomo tweeted. 

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The governor’s announcement follows a New York Times report on Monday that the USTA is moving ahead with plans to hold the open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens on the originally scheduled dates. 

A spokesperson for the USTA, Chris Widmaier, told the Times Monday that they were waiting for formal government approval.

Players, including current U.S. Open men's champion Rafael Nadal, have expressed concern about returning to the tournament amid the pandemic, citing New York's status as the epicenter of America's outbreak. 

“For me, [it] is very difficult to separate the status that the world is living from my real perspective on the world of tennis, no?” Nadal reportedly said earlier this month. “We need to be responsible. We need to be sure that the situation is safe enough. And then of course try to come back to our tour when the things are clear.”

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Wimbledon was canceled this year for the first time since 1945, and the French Open has been postponed from May until after the U.S. Open concludes.

Professional sports leagues and college athletic organizations had postponed games and ended seasons early amid the pandemic but are starting to prepare to bring games back as states reopen. The WNBA said Monday games will start in July with no fans in attendance. 

All parts of New York, including New York City, have started reopening in phases as restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus are beginning to be lifted.