Officials at the ATP 250 next August in Winston-Salem may be living dangerously as they announced on Monday that all will be back to normal for fans at their US Open run-up tournament.
A southern US state where mask-wearing during the pandemic has never been particularly popular, will go for broke by allowing the full complement of public into the stands for the August 22-28 event which ends only hours before the start of the Open in New York.
Organiser believe they will be the first tournament worldwide to return to “normality” during the COVID era.
“The tournament will operate at full capacity, given North Carolina’s government has lifted mass gathering restrictions,” a statement read.
“We know our fans have a long history of being incredibly loyal and supportive of the tournament, and we can’t wait for play to begin on August 21,” TD Jeff Ryan said.
“We hope, as conditions continue to improve and restrictions are lifted, other tournaments will be able to join us at full operational levels as professional tennis completely re-emerges from the pandemic.”
Officials are also touting their week for paying full prize money – no actual figure was revealed – and hosting the full complement of spectators.
Headline players are only due to be announced in July, only a few weeks before the intended start of play.