USTA still plans for US Open to start Aug. 31

The United States Tennis Association is moving ahead with its plans to play the US Open in its projected time frame, starting on Aug. 31.

The ATP and WTA have embraced the plan, along with a reshuffling of the August calendar, a source familiar with the plans has confirmed to ESPN.

Forbes first reported Wednesday that the ATP and WTA would approve the plan to play the US Open at its originally scheduled time.

The USTA appears poised to announce the plan once it secures a green light from local and state health officials in New York, according to ESPN and Forbes.

“We’re following each step in the [restart] procedure in the great hope that we can announce that the 2020 US Open will be played in its regularly scheduled date,” Chris Widmaier, the USTA’s director of communications, told ESPN. “We hope to make an announcement in the very near future.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, strict health protocols will be in place for the US Open, with testing regimens and restrictions on the movements and activities of players while they are in New York. Fans will be prohibited at the event.

The ATP Player Council was presented with a plan to hold the annual Cincinnati tournament — which was to have started Aug. 16 — in conjunction with the US Open in a two-event “bubble” at the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open.

The shift of the location and date of the Cincinnati event has created a domino effect. The ATP and WTA have been in hiatus until at least the end of July. The tours were primed to potentially resume with the combined Citi Open in Washington, D.C., but it was uncertain that either the tours, organizers of the event, or local health officials would green-light the restart.

The USTA’s initiative would see the Citi Open postponed until Aug. 16, the original start date of the Cincinnati event. While the Rogers Cup for women has long been canceled, the men’s event, scheduled to start in Toronto on Aug. 10, would also go unplayed.

In order to accommodate the transplanted Cincinnati event, the Winston-Salem Open, which was scheduled to take place the week before the US Open, will be canceled.