May 13, 2020
by Georgio A. Dano, FNTV
Tennis, a social distancing sport?
As New York City braces for a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. New York City’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is the site of one of the four biggest tennis Grand Slams. Tennis is played at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for three weeks from August to September, yearly.
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement expressed his view on tennis and the May 15th re-opening of various regions in New York State, “certain low-risk business and recreational activities will be ready to reopen statewide on May 15th, including landscaping and gardening; outdoor, low-risk recreational activities such as tennis; and drive-in movie theaters.
Tennis players especially in New York City have been fighting for a place to play since the pandemic. George Tac-an a retiree is not worried at all, “tennis is a non-contact sport, it is played far apart more than 6 feet apart, even. All New York City parks are open but why not tennis. At the same time the Mayor and Governor are encouraging New Yorkers to go out to the parks”.
The United States Tennis Association backs the idea to getting out there to play, “The USTA recognizes that the coronavirus has been affecting different parts of the country in different ways and with different timing. We therefore believe it will be possible for people to return to playing tennis safely in some cities and states sooner than others.
The USTA released guidelines educating players how to safely play and recommendations:
The USTA announced on April 16, 2020 of a comprehensive program supporting the tennis industry and all its affected members. The Tennis Industry United, collaborates with the USTA, the TIA, USPTA, PTR, ITA and major endemic media partners which will provide immediate relief the statement said, “This is all about ‘relief, recovery and rebuild’ for our industry”. The resource guide can be found at: http://www.tennisindustryunited.com. The resource provides USTA Facility Grants to support tennis facilities in need of relief, access to legal expertise, a $5 million dollar grant to supporting scholarships, and many more membership grants. The USTA National office has committed to $50 million dollars to the tennis industry.
Former professional tennis player and now USTA National Chairman of the Board and President, Patrick Galbraith, met with President Donald Trump on April 14th at the White House along with many key players in the agriculture, banking, construction, labor and defense, energy, food and beverage. A statement from the White House Press Secretary said, “President Donald J. Trump announced many of the esteemed executives, economist, scholars and industry leaders who together will form various Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. These bipartisan groups of American leaders will work together with the White House to chart the path toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity. The health and wealth of America is the primary goal, and these groups will produce a more independent, self-sufficient, and resilient Nation.
The United States Tennis Association announced that the 2020 U.S. Open will be held August 31 to September 13th, 2020 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.