US Open organizers on Wednesday announced that they will include a wheelchair tournament at this year’s Grand Slam event, after scrapping the event as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The decision received a backlash from a player as the United States Tennis Association had to reintroduce the Wheelchair Tennis Competition which will be held from September 10-13 at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing.
“The decision was made following multiple virtual meetings with a group of wheelchair athletes and the International Tennis Federation over the last week,” the USTA said in a statement.
“The 2020 US Open Wheelchair Competition will feature men’s and women’s singles and doubles and quad singles and doubles, withdraw sizes similar to the past US Opens.”
It was the Australian Paralympic tennis champion Dylan Alcott who led the backlash over the decision of scrapping the event as he described the decision as “disgusting discrimination”.
The USTA came to this conclusion after holding multiple virtual meetings with the wheelchair athletes and International Tennis Federation, taking the call in their favour. Later, the group that manages the oversees tennis in America apologized by saying they should have consulted those athletes before scrapping the event.
This decision comes two days after the USTA issued the operating plans for conducting the event as this year’s Grand Slam event to be held with no spectators, also reducing the number of teams in the men’s and women’s doubles events by half to 32 teams apiece.
The International Tennis Federation is still monitoring the situation closely and also working on the complete guidelines which would be applicable to the wheelchair events. The same will be released in the next few days.