Novak Djokovic Mulls Boycotting US Open Due to Quarantine Requirement — Does He Have a Point?

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Novak Djokovic Mulls Boycotting US Open Due to Quarantine Requirement — Does He Have a Point?

Novak Djokovic, the Tennis Players Council president, is reportedly considering to lead players’ boycott of the US Open if there are no guarantees on quarantine exemptions.

World number one and defending champion, Rafael Nadal, has already withdrawn from the race, citing coronavirus uncertainty as the main reason.

Many top athletes have provisionally committed, but the issue over travel quarantines seems challenging to overcome.

Due to the coronavirus-related travel restrictions, people returning from Europe are required to self-isolate for 14 days. The measure will affect the French Open’s preparations, which starts three weeks after the finale in New York.

According to a report in Marca, who have a good reputation for inside scoops from the ATP Tour, a ‘secret meeting’ was held between the ATP, USTA, and Players Council over the issue.

Novak Djokovic, the Tennis Players Council president, is reportedly considering to lead players’ boycott of the US Open if there are no guarantees on quarantine exemptions.

World number one and defending champion, Rafael Nadal, has already withdrawn from the race, citing coronavirus uncertainty as the main reason.

Many top athletes have provisionally committed, but the issue over travel quarantines seems challenging to overcome.

Due to the coronavirus-related travel restrictions, people returning from Europe are required to self-isolate for 14 days. The measure will affect the French Open’s preparations, which starts three weeks after the finale in New York.

According to reports in Spanish media, the Players Council, the ATP, and USTA, had a secret meeting to discuss the issue. Djokovic, who is currently in Spain, attended the meeting and reportedly said that ”the entire top 20” will not join the US Open if there are no guarantees.

Besides Rafael Nadal, the 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will also not travel to New York. Federer will skip the rest of the season due to a knee injury followed by two operations.

Stan Wawrinka, Fabio Fognini, and Gael Monfils also confirmed their withdrawal. Novak Djokovic said he would decide whether to travel to New York ”in the next few days.”

The situation with women is not very different. Elina Svitolina and Kiki Bertens, both in top-10 and No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, will also skip the New York tournament due to pandemics.

The Ukrainian Svitolina, who was a semifinalist at Flushing Meadows last year said she did not ”feel comfortable” to travel to the United States as it is too risky for her and her team.

The Dutch Kiki Bertens said that her main concern is the need to be quarantined upon returning to Europe.

Meanwhile, Andy Murray and Kim Clijsters are coming to New York with wildcards to revive their tennis career. The 33-year-old former No. 1 Murray had a long recovery after a hip injury.

Clijsters is returning from retirement for a second time. In 2009, she won the women’s singles titles in New York after returning from her first retirement, during which she gave birth.

What do you think? Do you support or oppose the tennis players’ requirement to be exempted from quarantine upon returning to Europe?