The US Open could be played in front of fans this year after all — in California in November.
While hosting the event New York home has not been ruled out, the USTA is considering moving the event to Indian Wells, executive director Michael Dowse told Inside Tennis.
“Nothing is off the table,” Dowse said, including keeping the Grand Slam tournament in New York with fewer fans or even none at all.
“There’s too much speculation – we’ll know so much more in June. In reality it’s certainly possible to play without fans.
“No formal decision has been made about Indian Wells. Whatever we do, we’ll have to do it in alignment with the owners of Indian Wells, and the ATP and the WTA. These days the most energy is on social distancing.”
The Indian Wells Tennis centre is home to a 16,100-seat outdoor stadium, so would be capable of hosting the event.
It annually plays host to the BNP Paribas Open every March, which was postponed earlier this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Already this year the French Open has been postponed to a possible date in late September and Wimbledon has been cancelled.
The US Open is currently scheduled for August 31-September 13, but the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center was recently transformed into a 350-bed medical facility to assist nearby hospitals.
“All of us want the US Open to happen and we are ready to help with increased testing and to help players get in and out of the country,” Dowse told Inside Tennis.
“We have three priorities: 1) the health and well-being of the players, staff, fans and all those involved; 2) what’s good for tennis; and 3) the financial impact. Everything is still on the table and we’ll be going forward based on the three-phase approach noted in the federal guidelines.”