U.S. Open kicks off Monday with no followers, following week of sports protests

The U.S. Open tennis event is kicking off on Monday, following a wave of protests throughout the sports world that introduced competitors in skilled tennis, basketball, baseball, and soccer to a halt this week.

 After initially pulling out of her match in protest on the Western & Southern open, a precursor to the U.S. Open, tennis star Naomi Osaka gained her semi-final match and finally completed in second place. 

“[The WTA and USTA] offered to postpone all matches until Friday and in my mind that brings more attention to the movement,” Osaka instructed The Guardian.

Billie Jean King, a 39-time Grand Slam champion and half of the Original Nine who pioneered equality for ladies in skilled tennis 50 years in the past, praised Osaka for utilizing her platform. 

“This is really the moment in time that we can truly, truly change things,” King stated in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box taped Thursday. “We are going to continue to use our platform at the U.S. Open for positive change, for equality and for justice.”

Osaka, 22, earned $37 million between May 2019 and May 2020, greater than every other feminine athlete ever, in accordance with Forbes.

“Immediately we knew the right decision was to support our athletes but also support our sport by taking that pause on Thursday,” stated United States Tennis Association CEO Michael Dowse in an interview on Squawk Box. “It is important that we restart again collectively, together on this global stage.”

The U.S. Open attracts vacationers from all over the world and is historically a lift for the New York City economic system.

Dowse stated income, which is able to depend on broadcast and sponsorship offers, shall be down 80% this yr with out followers. The group needed to faucet into its reserves to fund the event. In 2019, a report 737,872 folks attended the U.S. Open over two weeks, producing $400 million in income. 

“We have no fans in sight but it doesn’t mean we don’t have fans around the world watching this sport. Everyone has been starved to see world class tennis again,” Dowse stated from an empty Arthur Ashe stadium Friday morning. 

Unlike the NBA’s bubble, the USTA is implementing a multi-tiered system for monitoring the well being of gamers, media, and occasion workers. Players and their friends, that are half of Tier 1, are examined each 4 days.

“The U.S. Open’s been very, very adaptable,” stated King. “It really gets down to personal responsibility and that they have their two bubbles, one for the players and one for the support team and all–they’re trying to do it right.”

Dowse hopes the event will encourage extra Americans to choose up the game of tennis, which he highlights has been an outlier within the pandemic .

“People have realized tennis is the perfect social distancing sport,” says Dowse. “We are cautiously optimistic we’ll have fans back in the stadium next year.”

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