Djokovic bets on a restart in September in Europe

Novak Djokovic, number one in the world, believes that the season, which was interrupted on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic, will resume in early September in Europe rather than in the United States in August, describing the expected health conditions for the US Open as “extreme”.

“Nothing is certain yet. A final decision should be made by the end of the month, ”Novak Djokovic, also chairman of the ATP Players Council, told Serbian National Television (RTS).

“For me at the moment, the most realistic thing is for the season to resume on clay, at the beginning of September. Madrid, Rome, possibly some tournaments before Roland Garros ”, he said referring to the French Open, postponed to September.

The Serbian player, who is currently organizing a humanitarian tournament in several Balkan countries (from June 13 to July 5), reiterated his position on the sanitary measures planned for the US Open, and asked the organizers to reach a “compromise” with the players.

In particular, he mentioned the mandatory 14-day quarantine after landing on US soil, as well as the inability to take more than one member of his team and stay at airport hotels. “That would mean not having access to the tracks and therefore not having the opportunity to train,” explained the three-time US Open winner (2011, 2015 and 2018).

“It is something quite unimaginable at the moment. Also, there would be no access to Manhattan, we should sleep in an airport hotel, go to the club accompanied by only one person. There would be no public, no media. Pretty extreme conditions to play. I don’t know if it is sustainable, ”said Djokovic.

In that sense, he assured that many of the players with whom he has spoken share that negative position about a participation in the United States Open.

“Sure, we would all like to go back to the field before, play tournaments on the eve of the US Open and the US Open itself. I hope that happens, but there must be some kind of commitment and agreement between the players and the organizer. We will see if it will occur, “he said.

The world number 2, Rafa Nadal, expressed in early June his reservations about the resumption of the season “until the situation is completely safe and fair.”