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Dan Evans urges Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal to play in US Open

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

12:37 8 Jun 2020

World number 28 Dan Evans believes the likes of Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal have a duty to the lower ranked players to take part in the US Open.

Tennis has been suspended since early March due to COVID-19 which led to Wimbledon being cancelled and the French Open moved to later in the year.

The US Open is due to start in New York on August 31st but Djokovic and Nadal have both raised major concerns about competing at Flushing Meadows.

World number one Djokovic said participating in the US Open would be an impossible task due to the “extreme” COVID-19 protocols in place and that having only one person on site with him would be "really impossible".

Defending champion Nadal said he would not travel to America in the present circumstances and that the tour should only resume when it's safe to do so.

Evans told BBC 5 Live Breakfast: "If the US Open didn’t go ahead that would be another grand slam they are missing, Wimbledon has gone.

"This is a point where the players should really come together and Novak and Rafa should be looking to help those lower-ranked players so they get a good pay day really.

"It is not all about money, there is health involved here but if it is safe enough, having just a coach is not good enough reason not to be going to a tournament in my opinion..

"There are obviously people who have just got into the top 100 and haven’t earned for two or three months now.

"It is great what the ATP did with the relief fund but there is nothing better than the prize money of the grand slams for the players to be receiving."

Djokovic said he would need a coach, hitting partner, physiotherapist and fitness coach with him but Evans doesn't think it is a necessity.

"I don’t think having one person of your team only allowed is such a big deal," Evans said.

"The majority of the draw would only travel with one coach, not everyone is travelling with a fitness coach and trainer like Novak said. His argument there is not really valid for the rest of the draw apart from the real top guys.

"There has to be a bit of give and take from the players, there are rumours that the US Open really need this to go ahead and I think as tennis players we should give something back and get out there and play.

"There are also physical trainers at the tournament, so it is not like they will be not be able to get treatment, but it would be from the ATP Tour physios.

"They are going to try and keep us in a bubble, staying at the airport hotels, there will be a lot of testing, it will be as safe as humanly possible with all the testing.

"The difficulty would be having to pull out due to testing positive to the virus and then it is very unfortunate. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and the tournament goes ahead successfully."

The United States Tennis Association is expected to make a decision later this month whether the US Open can go ahead this year.

 

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Read more about

ATP Coronavirus Dan Evans Flushing Meadows Novak Djokovic Rafa Nadal US Open

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