The world of tennis explodes following a shocking announcement
US Open officials made the astounding appeal to host this year’s Grand Slam tournament with a 100 percent crowd.
the The US Open was played behind closed doors last year due to Covid-19, with officials being forced to shut down fans.
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But the US Tennis Association (USTA) announced this week that fans will be back in 2021, with no restriction on crowd size.
The tournament will begin selling tickets for the showdown from August 30 to September 12 at Flushing Meadows to the public on July 15.
It will be the first Grand Slam to be played at 100% capacity since the start of the pandemic.
Officials said the US Open will follow all U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines regarding the deadly virus.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to welcome our incredible fans back to the US Open this year,” said USTA General Manager Mike Dowse.
“While we were proud to have been able to host the event in 2020, we missed having our fans on hand because we know they are a big part of what makes the US Open experience one of a kind.”
Dowse said four million people discovered or resumed tennis during the pandemic, using the sport to stay active outdoors and respecting social distancing.
“Indeed, the challenges presented by the pandemic were difficult for all of us, but our sport came together like never before and met every challenge head-on,” he said.
“Our sport has grown through its most difficult times and this year’s US Open promises to be an unforgettable celebration of the game, of those who play it and those who enjoy it.”
The last grand slam to be played in front of full crowds was the 2020 Australian Open, which was held in January of the same year just months before the peak of the pandemic.
Needless to say, tennis fans have remained skeptical of the wisdom of hosting capacity crowds given the daily Covid numbers in the United States.
Wimbledon will allow full crowds for the finals
Last week the UK government said it would allow Wimbledon will host a crowd of 15,000 on the center court for the men’s and women’s finals.
The 2020 edition of the lawn major has been canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wimbledon, which begins June 28, can have a 50 percent capacity at the start of the tournament and that will drop to 100 percent on July 10 and 11 for the men’s and women’s singles finals.
The government’s decision to ease Covid-19 restrictions on crowds will also increase attendance at the European Football Championship and other sporting events.
“We want to gather more evidence on how we can safely and truly open all major events,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said in a statement.
“Over the next few weeks that means more fans will enjoy Euro and Wimbledon, as well as some of our biggest cultural and sporting events.”
The cancellation of Wimbledon in 2020 was the first time since World War II that the tournament had not been played.
It was later revealed that Wimbledon had pandemic insurance, saving them millions of lost income.
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