Quiet please! US Open players bemoan the sound of silence


As chatty spectators so continuously be informed the arduous means, silence is golden in the recreation of tennis.

Yet dealing with the prospect of empty stands at the first fanless Grand Slam since the coronavirus outbreak, even most sensible contenders at this 12 months’s U.S. Open admit that the extraordinary new hush will take some being used to.

Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin instructed newshounds how lovers carry out the highest in her.

“When it’s tough moments, they obviously are there on their feet cheering for you,” Kenin mentioned, forward of the match’s get started on Monday. “I really wish they would be here. They really help me.”

Flushing Meadows lovers are notoriously raucous — by means of tennis requirements, no less than — as hundreds of them typically pack into the sprawling Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, sipping signature “Honey Deuce” vodka cocktails beneath sunny skies.

Night periods can get particularly boisterous, however no longer this 12 months.

Gloomy climate and a sparsely-populated plaza, speckled with rain, on Saturday foreshadowed an excessively other atmosphere for when the tournament kicks off on Monday.

The match is being performed with out lovers and in a biosecure bubble as a result of of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andy Murray, who claimed his first Grand Slam name in New York in 2012 in an epic ultimate in opposition to Novak Djokovic beneath the Arthur Ashe Stadium lighting fixtures, mentioned that whilst the tranquil environment had its benefits, it used to be a tragic scenario.

“You know that there’s no one around, that you’re not going to get stopped. Yeah, it’s very quiet and very relaxed,” the Briton mentioned of his practise periods.

“Then there’s also been times like after one of my practices last week, I was walking back to the locker room, I was walking through the grounds. I was like, Wow, this is pretty sad because usually this place is just filled with energy and atmosphere like before the tournament starts.

“Now it’s tennis players and their teams walking around with masks on. Fans give life to the tournaments.”

Another former champion, Belgium’s Kim Clijsters mentioned the lack of environment on court docket may even really feel odd as she returns to a Grand Slam for the first time since pronouncing her 2d comeback to the recreation.

“We’ve seen in the past, many moments where the crowd, the energy of the crowd, the momentum changes because of one rally or something,” four-times Grand Slam champions Clijsters mentioned.

“Some players really thrive on those kind of moments.”

For global quantity six Stefanos Tsitsipas, who hasn’t ever made it previous the 2d spherical and into the highlight of an evening fit on Arthur Ashe Stadium, the trade is tricky to swallow.

“It’s like a dream for everyone, to play a night session match on Arthur Ashe. It’s been a dream of mine since forever. We won’t have the opportunity this year,” he mentioned.



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