Serena Williams confirms US Open participation as Novak Djokovic concerns addressed

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US Open has received a huge boost in its efforts to take place.

23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has confirmed she intends to play at the US Open after the Grand Slam announced it will go ahead.

After weeks of speculation over whether the US Open can take place following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the USTA unveiled their plans for the event on Wednesday.

In a bid to ensure the health and safety of all those involved, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows will stage the Western and Southern Open followed by the US Open.

The Western and Southern Open, usually held in Cincinnati, will start on August 19 and the US Open begins on August 31.

A number of players have spoken out against the US Open going ahead.

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However, in a pre-recorded video, Williams handed the organisers major boost by revealing she will play in New York.

She said: “Ultimately, I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open.

“I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is amazing and everyone is safe.

“It’s gonna be exciting. It’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis. I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong.

“Just being out there with that New York crowd and hear everyone cheer, I’ll really miss that in some of those tough matches. But this is crazy, I’m excited.”

In a press conference, the USTA unveiled its plans, which have been approved by New York State government officials.

Both events will take place without fans in attendance and no media.

Players are permitted to bring up to three members of their entourage which is a u-turn on an earlier proposal to restrict athletes to just one.

Novak Djokovic had been vocal against the idea of a limit to team members being allowed to attend.

Stacey Allaster, USTA tournament director said: “Obviously there has been significant discussion with the athletes on plus ones, plus twos, etc.

“I think the majority of the athletes understand that we have to limit [numbers].”

Following the USTA’s announcement the ATP and WTA both published their revised calendars for the rest of the season.

The ATP Tour calendar intends to resume on August 14 with the Citi Open in Washington while the WTA will start again on August 3 at the Palermo Ladies Open in Italy.

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