US Open could be moved to Indian Wells this year, USTA executive director says

Several major tennis tournaments have been postponed or canceled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Now there's a possibility that the 2020 US Open could be altered. In an interview with Inside Tennis magazine, United States Tennis Association executive director Michael Dowse believes that the US Open could be moved to Indian Wells and take place in November.

"Nothing is off the table," Dowse said in the April 30 interview.

As of right now, the US Open is slated to begin on Aug. 24 and run through Sept. 13 in New York. Dowse also mentioned that more information is expected to be known in June and it's still possible that the event could be held in New York without fans in attendance.

The US Open, which is one of tennis' four Grand Slam tournaments, would be quite a different spectacle without fans attending if the event were to stay in New York at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center's Arthur Ashe Stadium -- the largest tennis stadium in the world. However, the state's stay-at-home order could be a key factor in the decision. It's likely California will lift their order before New York does. In that case, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden sits 16,000 fans and is the second-largest tennis stadium in the United States. If there could be fans in attendance by then, Indian Wells would have the space to spread them out.

"No formal decision has been made about Indian Wells," Dowse added. "Whatever we do, we'll have to do it in alignment with the owners of Indian Wells, and the ATP and the WTA."

During the 2020 calendar year, Wimbledon has been already been canceled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The US Open is the next major tournament on the calendar.

"All of us want the U.S. Open to happen and we are ready to help with increased (coronavirus) testing and to help players get in and out of the country," Dowse said.

Dowse did reveal that the USTA's priorities are the health of its athletes, staff, and fans, the good of the game, and the financial impact that canceling the U.S. Open would have.

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