A day after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave the green light for the US Open to be held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, one of the sport’s top stars confirmed she will be there.
Serena Williams told reporters Wednesday she “cannot wait to return” to New York, a COVID-19 hotspot that caused organizers to doubt whether the tournament could be played as scheduled. The event will still take place from Aug. 31-Sept. 13, but without fans in the stands.
Williams finished as the runner up to Bianca Andreescu last year. She’s won the US Open, traditionally the last of the Grand Slam majors, six times.
Other prominent tennis players, such as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have been publicly opposed to the safety protocols instituted by the United States Tennis Association, which were approved by local officials.
Meanwhile, the ATP announced its return on Aug. 14 for the Citi Open in Washington D.C. The WTA will return earlier, on Aug. 3 for the Palermo Ladies Open in Italy. Both tours had been suspended since early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Contributing: Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports; Associated Press