The USTA and ATP conducted a ‘secret meeting’ with the top 20 ATP players to discuss concerns over players needing to quarantine when they head to Europe after the US Open.
As reported by Spanish daily Marca, the players, led by world no 1 Novak Djokovic, were firm that they would skip the US Open unless they are guaranteed that they will not be needed to self-quarantine when they head to Europe for the clay swing after playing the American Grand Slam.
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Presently, different countries in Europe have different rules about travellers from abroad, with many barring visitors coming from the United States.
Organisers of the Madrid Masters event, which was to take place the week after the US Open, had secured permission from the Spanish government to allow players entry. But with a spike in Covid-19 cases in Spain, the event has been cancelled.
As of now, the Rome Masters, scheduled for September 20 will continue, followed by the French Open the following week.
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In July, it was reported that the ATP had been negotiating with European authorities to allow players to enter the continent after the US Open without being forced to self-isolate, citing the safety of the bio-secure bubble created in New York City.
Ahead of the US Open, scheduled to start on August 31, the Cincinnati Masters event has been relocated to Flushing Meadows – the same venue as the major – to create the safety bubble for players.
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So far, five players in the top 20 have already confirmed that they will not be competing at the US Open – defending champion Rafael Nadal (ranked no 2), Roger Federer (4) Gael Monfils (9), Fabio Fognini (11), and 2016 champion Stan Wawrinka.
World on 19 Grigor Dimitrov, who had tested positive for Coronavirus after playing at the ill-fated Adria Tour in June, is still undecided.
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Additionally, Marca reported, players were disappointed with the new rule that a player would be forced to withdraw from a competition if a member of the player’s team tested positive for the virus.