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The Show Must Go On! Preparing for the 2020 U.S. Open Tennis Championships

Posted on August 06, 2020 by Dean Hybl

In a year that has been anything but normal, the USTA is hoping to provide some return to normalcy by hosting the 2020 U.S. Open Tennis Championship on its originally scheduled dates from August 31-September 13 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY.

Serena Williams is still trying to win her 24th grand slam singles title.

However, while the dates and venue will be familiar, there will be other aspects of the tournament that are quite different.

First, like most other sports that have started to return to the field, the 2020 U.S. Open will be played without fans in the stands.

It has certainly been a bit strange watching basketball and baseball in empty stadiums and there will likely be a similar sensation when watching tennis at the U.S. Open. Even though during matches you often do not see fans during points, the energy that a full stadium crowd provides will be difficult to replicate.

Another group of people who will not be participating in the 2020 U.S. Open are those who are usually positioned directly behind a line to make those split-second calls as to whether a ball is in or out. Instead, the U.S. Open will be the first major tournament to use the Hawk-Eye Live system to make all line calls on 15 of their 17 courts (all but the two stadium courts).

Though there will not be a person on the line or making the calls, you will still hear human voices for the calls as that is part of the system. In addition to reducing the number of people on the courts, it should also speed up play because there will be no challenging available on the courts where the Hawk-Eye Live is making the calls.

What is not clear yet is which star players will actually be participating in the tournament and which will choose to pass. The first list of competitors has been announced, but with the tournament still three weeks away, there could still be fluctuation before the tournament starts. For that reason, figuring out the US Open betting odds could be a bit tricky.

On the women’s side, number one ranked Ashleigh Barty has announced that she will skip the U.S. Open, but the field includes all other members of the top 10. In all, there are 13 former major champions in the field.

Leading the way is second ranked Simona Halep. Also in the field is defending champion Bianca Andreescu and six-time champion Serena Williams. Since winning her 23rd grand slam title at the Australian Open in 2017, Williams has reached four tournament finals, but has not been able to tie the record of 24 championships.

On the men’s side defending champion Rafael Nadal and five-time champion Roger Federer will not be in the field. That leaves Novak Djokovic, a three-time U.S. Open Champion, as the prohibitive favorite.

Also in the field is third ranked Dominic Thiem, 2019 U.S. Open finalist Daniil Medvedev, sixth ranked  Stefanos Tsitsipas, seventh ranked Alexander Zverev and eighth ranked Matteo Berrettini.

Given the many disruptions that have resulted from the pandemic, you could say that the big win for 2020 will be if the U.S. Open is actually able to make it from beginning to end.

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