The United States Tennis Association (USTA) confirmed on Thursday that US Open will be at full capacity throughout its two-week duration is 2021., making it the first Grand Slam to be played at 100% capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It joins Wimbledon in having capacity crowds for the men and women’s finals at Centre Court.
The tournament was held without spectators in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic and will be the first Grand Slam to have full attendance since the Australian Open last year. The competition faced a lot of controversies last year for hosting the competition with the United States was facing problems with the pandemic and no clarity on whether the competition would ever finish as it was postponed after staff and players tested positive for Covid – 19.
A lot of players speaking out after New York was decided as the host city, which was facing the worst health crisis in the nation at the time. Along with logistical issues, tennis great Djokovic also saw himself get disqualified after inadvertently striking a line judge on the throat with a ball hit in frustration. This year’s tournament is set to put that all behind, thanks in part to the nation’s fantastic recovery and vaccination efforts as crowds also return to the tournament.
USTA chief executive Mike Dowse admitted that they were proud to host the event last year, but missed the fans on-site knowing that they are a large part of what makes the U.S Open experience unique.
“We are extremely excited to be able to welcome our incredible fans back to the U.S. Open this year. Our sport surged in the toughest of times, and this year’s U.S. Open promises to be an unforgettable celebration of the game, those who play it, and those who revel in it.”
Organisers of the Cincinnati Masters, the tune-up tournament for the Grand Slam, announced last month that they also plan to operate the August tournament in the city at full capacity. The USTA confirmed that tickets for the US Open are set to go on sale from July 13. The stadium revenue will be a big boost for USTA after having an entire grand slam behind closed doors last year.