Serena Williams says she’ll play in the US Open

Serena Williams says she will play in this year’s US Open tennis tournament.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion announced her intentions in a taped video message revealed Wednesday by the USTA.

“I really cannot wait to return in New York and play the US Open 2020,” said Williams, 38. “I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe. It’s going to be exciting. It’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis.

“I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong, just being out there and that New York crowd and hearing everyone cheer,” the six-time US Open champion said. “I’ll really miss that getting me through some of those tough matches. This is crazy. I’m excited.”

The US Open will be held in New York from Aug. 31 through Sept. 13 and would be the first tennis major played since the sport was suspended in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Electronic line-calling will be used instead of line judges for US Open matches at all courts except the two largest arenas. There also will be three ball people instead of six at courts other than Arthur Ashe Stadium and Louis Armstrong Stadium.

Those are among the changes announced by the U.S. Tennis Association as it outlined plans for running its 2020 Grand Slam tournament amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There will be no mixed doubles, juniors or wheelchair competition during the tournament. There also will not be any qualifying rounds. Men’s and women’s doubles will be reduced from 64 teams each to 32, and only players not in singles may enter.

In each of the 128-player fields for men’s and women’s singles, there will be 120 players who get in via their ranking and eight who receive wild-card invitations.

Players will be allowed up to three guests and up to two rooms at a pair of designated hotels. One room will be paid for by the USTA and one by the player. There also will be the option for players to rent a house outside of Manhattan.

The USTA has not decided exactly how many entourage members will be allowed on-site at Flushing Meadows during the US Open or for the tournament that is being moved from Cincinnati and also will be staged (Aug. 21-28) at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Also Wednesday, organizers of the French Open announced that the Paris tournament’s main draw will be played at Roland Garros from Sept. 27 to Oct. 11, a week later than originally announced.

Because of the pandemic, Wimbledon has been canceled, the first time that has happened since World War II in 1945.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.