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Djokovic slams US Open COVID-19 safety measures

World number one Novak Djokovic has labelled COVID-19 safety measures set to be implemented if this year’s US Open goes ahead as “extreme” and suggested he may not travel to New York for the tournament.

The comments from Djokovic in an interview came after Ashleigh Barty and Rafael Nadal, first and second on the women’s and men’s world rankings, respectively, expressed doubts over competing at the event.

Djokovic, the head of the Association of Tennis Professionals Player Council and a three-time US Open winner, criticised planned safety protocols for the final Grand Slam of the year, scheduled to run from August 24 to September 13.

The professional tennis season has been suspended until at least July in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

“I had a telephone conversation with the leaders of world tennis, there were talks about the continuation of the season, mostly about the US Open due in late August, but it is not known whether it will be held,” Djokovic, a 17-time Grand Slam champion, said.

“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme.

“We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.

“Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible”.

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