FILE PHOTO: Aug 26, 2019; Flushing, NY, USA; Serena Williams of the USA hits to Maria Sharapova of Russia in the first round on day one of the 2019 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
NEW YORK (Reuters) – The Cincinnati Masters could be moved to Flushing Meadows this year as part of a double-header with the U.S. Open under a new plan proposed by the U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), the New York Times reported.
The plan is designed to help the tournaments, two of the biggest annual tennis events in North America, move forward safely after the novel coronavirus outbreak wreaked havoc on the professional sports calendar.
Both tournaments have previously said they plan to move forward as scheduled, with Cincinnati set to run until Aug. 23 and the U.S. Open’s main draw beginning on Aug. 31.
The USTA and Cincinnati Masters organisers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The USTA plan would see both competitions played in New York’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center back to back, according to the Times report, in order to minimise travel and risk for players and participants.
The men’s and women’s tours have reportedly been notified of the proposal.
The tennis world has slowly begun to resume action, with fans absent from stands.
World number 12 Petra Kvitova claimed victory in the women’s draw at an all-Czech tournament in Prague on Thursday, in a slot on the calendar that was originally occupied by the French Open.
French Open officials rescheduled the claycourt Grand Slam to begin on Sept. 20, the week after the U.S. Open was set to kick off, prompting frustration from many in the tennis world.
Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Toby Davis