Serena Williams Announces She Will Play 2020 US Open, ‘Cannot Wait to Return’

EVERETT, WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 08: Serena Williams of USA reacts while competing against Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia during the 2020 Fed Cup qualifier between USA and Latvia at Angel of the Winds Arena on February 08, 2020 in Everett, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Six-time U.S. Open champion Serena Williams confirmed her intentions of playing in this year’s event.

I really cannot wait to return in New York and play the U.S. Open 2020,” Williams told reporters Wednesday during a video conference.

US Open Tennis @usopen

A message from 6x champion @serenawilliams:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday he was signing off on staging the U.S. Open in August without fans amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 2020 season has been on hold since the cancellation of the BNP Paribas Open in March. The WTA rolled out its plan to resume play in August.

wta @WTA

We are excited to announce a plan for the WTA Tour to return to play this season!

Competition is scheduled to begin the week of August 3 —>

The Western & Southern Open, which is traditionally a tune-up for the U.S. Open, is still scheduled but will move from its usual home of Mason, Ohio, to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City.

While Cuomo gave the go-ahead to the U.S. Open and Williams is now on board, it’s unclear whether the event will have all of tennis’ biggest stars, especially those arriving from overseas. With many states relaxing coronavirus-related restrictions, the United States is seeing an uptick in confirmed cases.

Rafael Nadal hedged earlier this month on whether he intends to play, and Novak Djokovic expressed reservations as well.

Nick Kyrgios quipped he’ll get his “hazmat suit ready” for when he makes the trip:

Nicholas Kyrgios @NickKyrgios

Smh – people that live in the US of course are pushing the Open to go ahead 🤦🏽‍♂️ ‘Selfish’ I’ll get my hazmat suit ready for when I travel from Australia and then have to quarantine for 2 weeks on my return.

Williams has competed in three events this year, most recently representing the United States against Latvia in the Fed Cup. She was the runner-up in each of the last two U.S. Opens, losing to Naomi Osaka in 2018 and Bianca Andreescu in 2019.

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