US tennis chiefs mull US Open-Cincinnati double-header

NEW YORK (AFP) – The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has proposed moving August’s ATP/WTA Cincinnati Masters to New York for a doubleheader with the United States (US) Open, the New York Times reported.

The Times reported that the proposal, which is designed to ward off threats to both tournaments from the coronavirus pandemic, was being considered by both the ATP and WTA.

If approved, the move would allow foreign players to remain in one venue during competition in the US, alleviating concerns about travelling during the pandemic.

Under the proposal, the Cincinnati tournament would retain its August 17-23 slot in the calendar as a lead-in to the US Open, whose main draw gets under way on August 31.

Both tournaments would take place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows.

The reported proposal follows increasing uncertainty about the position of the US Open on the tennis calendar, with New York being the epicentre of the coronavirus crisis in the US.

The USTA said last month it was “aggressively” drafting contingency plans for the US Open with reports suggesting the tournament could even be moved to Florida or California.