Thu, 06 Aug 2020

John McEnroe warns Rafael Nadal could skip US Open

News24
03 Jul 2020, 05:12 GMT+10

John McEnroe believes Novak Djokovic is likely to compete at both the US Open and French Open, provided he is healthy to do so, but warns that Rafael Nadal could skip Flushing Meadows this year.

The 2020 season is set to restart in August following a five-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic and two Grand Slams remain on the calendar.

The US Open will run from 31 August to 13 September while the French Open, which was originally set to take place in May-June, has been rescheduled for 27 September - 11 October.

Some players have raised question marks about travelling to the United States during a pandemic while others are worried about playing a hard-court major and clay-court Grand Slam so close to each other.

Former world No 1 McEnroe feels the top players, including Djokovic, are likely to sign up for both tournaments, but concedes Nadal could opt against defending his US Open title.

"I believe and this is just my feeling, the top players are going to play both," he told BBC's Sue Barker during their Wimbledon: The Best of the Championships coverage.

"They have been sitting there and I'm assuming most of the top players and some of the younger ones are chomping at the bit to get back out on the court, to compete and see what they have got.

"You are talking about two of the three majors that remain, that is a huge deal for the players. It has been done before and it won't affect more than a couple of players.

"Obviously we presume and hope Novak will be fine and able to compete if he chooses to do so at the US Open.

"Rafa is the one you would think that might be a bit tricky for him to go from hard to clay. That's not something he likes to do or has done very often.

"It will be interesting to see if some European players decide not to come over to the US because of some concerns over renewed outbreaks and it seems as though New York is doing much better.

"But who knows what is going to happen in the next months. I think it can be done and it sounds as though they have set it up in a way that is extremely safe for the players and the few people that will be allowed in.

"I would be surprised if the top players certainly, they have the right not to play, but I would be surprised if they don't play."

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