After a 7-month break due to COVID-19, the professional tennis tour is resuming next month with one of its most prestigious tournaments, US Open. But the obvious question remains… can the 2020 US Open still be considered a legitimate grand slam when many top players from both the men’s and women’s side have pulled out of the competition?
The defending champion Rafael Nadal pulled out of the tournament last week followed by Bianca Andreescu, who is the reigning US Open champion on the women’s side.
Over the past two weeks, a host of top ATP players including Nick Kyrgios, 2016 winner Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, Fabio Fognini, and many others have backed out of Flushing Meadows.
On the women’s side, the World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens including the World No.2 Simona Halep have all withdrawn from the championship.
The 2020 US Open is turning out to be the most unusual grand slam as it will be held without any fans and manu of the top seeds, and with strict social distancing protocols in place. The 2013 Wimbledon champion, Marion Bartoli, was recently on the “No Challenges Remaining” podcast where she shared her opinions on this year’s championship.
When asked on whether the value of the 2020 US Open has been diminished, Bartoli said:
You can’t really say that you won a Grand Slam when you have 20 out of the top 32 players not coming, for example, if that is happening. You know it is just a regular tournament that you won, and you are happy that you won and you are happy that you have been able to get through all the difficulties and you navigated through all of this, but you can’t really call it a Grand Slam when there is that many people not showing up at all.
These are strange time, indeed, and one has to consider that without many (if not most) of the toughest competitors on the courts at Flushing Meadows, does the 2020 US Open really earn the recognition as a Grand Slam? We want to know your thoughts… please share in the comments below :-)