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Kyrgios pulls out of US Open, Zverev says he will play

Kyrgios pulls out of US Open, Zverev says he will play

DPA
Sydney/Berlin
Nick Kyrgios is the latest player to pull out of the US Open while Alexander Zverev has said he would go although he considers playing the New York Grand Slam amid the coronavirus crisis “crazy.”
US Open Organisers have meanwhile reiterated they want to stage the major as planned from August 31, as well as the Cincinnati Masters, moved to the same venue, a week earlier.
But concerns are growing after the Madrid Open have said that their September event could be scrapped after an according recommendation from local health authorities, and a player due to participate in next week’s women’s restart in Palermo testing positive for COVID-19.
Tournaments in the United States in August and China and Japan in autumn have already been cancelled as the men’s ATP and women’s WTA tour face a difficult restart from a suspension of play that started in March.
The recent return of tennis for exhibition events has also seen coronavirus-related problems.
Top men’s player Novak Djokovic – along with others – became infected in June after playing in his own exhibition tournament, the Adria Open, specially organised to fill the tennis gap during the crisis.
Kyrgios, 25, is a very outspoken critic of the events in Europe, and has now said he won’t go to New York, just as compatriot and women’s world number one Ash Barty.
“I will not be playing this year at the US Open. It hurts me in my core not to be out there competing,” Kyrgios said in a video published on the Uninterrupted platform on Twitter on Saturday.
“But I am sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, for all of you. It’s my decision ... and those are my reasons,” the world number 40 said.
Kyrgios added he has “no problem” with the organisers putting on the tournament and “if players want to go, that’s up to them. So long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely.”
The New York events at Flushing Meadows are to take place behind closed doors and amid a strict safety and health protocol, with players only to move between their hotel and the venue, their entourage drastically reduced, and regular tests.
Zverev, 23 – who participated at the Adria Tour but didn’t contract the virus, and came under fire for a video in a nightclub which showed no social distancing - expressed mixed feelings at a weekend exhibition event in France.
“It is a little crazy to play the US Open now,” the seventh-ranked German said as the US remains one of the hardest hit countries by the pandemic, with New York one of the hotspots in spring.
“I would prefer it if the US Open didn’t take place and we start in Europe ... It is not the right time to fly to America now.” But he also said: “If the US Open takes place, what should we players do? Especially if everyone is playing, it’s also about ranking points.”
However, it remains to be seen who will eventually board a plane to New York, especially from the players who live abroad.
The US tennis federation USTA meanwhile reiterated Friday that it “continues its plans” to stage both tournaments and that “New York State continues to be one of the safest places in the country as it relates to the
COVID-19 virus.”

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