New ATP supremo Andrea Gaudenzi, who took over the job in January only to be slammed with the COVID-19 crisis which shut down the game in March, has expressed a hint of pessimism about the return of the sport – hopefully next month.

The former Italian player has voiced his concerns, with tennis off court since March when the pandemic began to bite.

With New York organisers pushing to stage the US Open at all costs from August 31 inside a fan-free, quarantine-enforced bubble, the pressure is only mounting on the neophyte boss.

«We will make a decision on the US Open in the next two weeks, I hope not later than the end of July,” Gaudenzi told Italian TV.

“We have players of all nationalities, we have no guarantee and security from governments on quarantine-exempted entry policies.

“We have drafted a 70-page protocol to safeguard player safety. And we are monitoring other sports that have the same problems as us.

“If the players were to have a quarantine in and out of the United States this would freeze the calendar immediately because we have no space between one tournament and another. “

With no certainty at all from the disorganised virus-plagued US about entry of foreign players – New York now has internal quarantines in place for nearly 25 fellow states where the virus is raging – the simple question of getting players through the border has become a potential deal-breaker.

And if a player tests positive inside the Grand Slam “health bubble” ?

“In case of a positive player we would continue to play. Once you decide to go ahead with the events, there is no alternative. The positive (player) should be isolated,” Gaudenzi said. 

Tennis authorities are due to make a final decision on staging the US Open before the end of July.


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