Serena Williams confirmed on Wednesday she will compete in this year’s US Open in New York amid the COVID-19 outbreak, where the seven-times champion will seek a record-tying 24th career Grand Slam singles title.
“Ultimately, I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the U.S. Open 2020,” Williams said in a video message played during a United States Tennis Association news conference to confirm that the August 31 to September 13 tournament will proceed without fans.
“I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and … everyone is safe.”
In preparation for the event, US Open tournament director Stacey Allaster said Williams has had a court constructed at her house with the new US Open hardcourt surface.
However, even with the health protocols put in place, Halep does not intend to compete.
“Given the conditions outlined in the US Open announcement this morning, as of today I do not currently plan to play in NYC,” she told Reuters.
Several players have criticised the decision to play the US Open, with Nick Kyrgios calling it “selfish”, but six-time champion Williams says she “really cannot wait to return to New York and play the 2020 US Open”.
“I feel the USTA [United States Tennis Association] is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe…I will certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong.”