US Open 2020 is ready to take place from Monday at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Centre in New York. Six of the top 10 players won’t take part, including the defending champion Bianca Andreescu. However, icons like Serena Williams and newbies like Naomi Osaka will be seen in action. They have both played at Cincinnati Open. Williams lost in the third round and Osaka withdrew from the finals due to hamstring injury.
18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova recently wrote a column on WTA’s website. She said the crowd-less game might feel a little strange at the beginning. However, she’s hopeful that the players will adapt to it.
Navratilova is really looking forward to seeing Osaka play. Considering the fact, Naomi won the US Open in 2018 against Serena, Navratilova feels the Japanese typhoon might once again pull the rabbit out of the hat.
She talked about how players might have utilized the impromptu break of five months. Navratilova is not hopeful about Serena as she is about Naomi.
Navratilova said, “I don’t imagine Osaka will be that affected by the lack of a crowd. She has shown in the past that she can shut out the New York crowd, and she also wouldn’t have been feeding off the New Yorkers’ energy in the same way that Serena has done most years.”
“For the younger players, such as Osaka, this break may have been the best thing for them, as they would have had a chance to work on their games and their fitness. Lockdown was a great opportunity to get in even better shape and try out different training methods to maybe add extra mph to your serve or to improve your flexibility or maybe work on the mental side with some meditation. They had the chance to work on all aspects to help them in the long term.”
Navratilova also touched on how for Serena the urge to equal the 24 major records with Margaret Court. “But that desire seems to be stopping her from playing her best tennis. There’s so much on the line and she knows that (she’ll turn 39 just days after the US Open) time is definitely not her friend.”
However, Martina thinks, chances of Osaka are high. Navratilova is positive that Osaka will make an impact in the US Open even if Williams doesn’t.
“She had been playing some strong tennis until the injury. You would think that such a long break would be more challenging for a player like Osaka, who hits the ball hard and is a creator, rather than for someone who plays a more defensive style of tennis. But Osaka has been looking pretty match tough.”
Like her, fans are hoping to see some thrilling matches of tennis. We hope the audience-less Flushing Meadows will be a great new experience for everyone.
For the first time in the history of tennis US Open will be held behind closed doors. Analysts argue this will result in a lack of motivation for the players as well as extra pressure. However, a tennis legend begs to differ.