Amanda Anisimova has questioned Nick Kyrgios’ claims the ATP is being ‘selfish’ in trying to play the US Open amid the coronavirus pandemic.
All tennis remains suspended until at least the end of July, but the American major is still slated from late August in New York (one of the coronavirus epicentres), with a decision on the tournament - and other events - expected next week.
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Taking to Twitter earlier this week, Kyrgios slammed the ATP and US Open.
“The ATP is trying to make the US Open go ahead. Selfish with everything going on at the moment,” he tweeted.
“Obviously Covid, but also with the riots, together we need to overcome these challenges before tennis returns in my opinion.”
The ATP is trying to make the US Open go ahead. Selfish with everything going on at the moment. Obviously Covid, but also with the riots, together we need to overcome these challenges before tennis returns in my opinion. https://t.co/tEHPvr4miB
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) June 11, 2020
Kyrgios’ suggestion was supported by countryman John Millman, who wrote: “I love the US Open but it seems a little crazy that we’re still contemplating playing a grand slam there, right?”
I love the US Open but it seems a little crazy that we’re still contemplating playing a grand slam there, right?
— John Millman (@johnhmillman) June 11, 2020
However American teen star Anisimova disagrees with both of them.
In a since-deleted tweet, the 18-year-old reportedly replied to Millman and Kyrgios’ conversation and said she thought it was worth a try for tennis to return.
“I don’t see why not give it a try,” Anisimova wrote, according to News Corp.
“Of course there will be a ton of safety protocols in place, and many precautions made.
“Other sports are coming back, so why can’t tennis? Playing without fans is a huge bummer, but at least we get to play at all.”
US Open organisers are looking into holding the event behind closed doors and with players in strict quarantine near the venue and not permitted to enter Manhattan.
Djokovic under fire from American star
World No.1 Novak Djokovic and title holder Rafael Nadal have also voiced criticism about staging the major.
American player Danielle Collins previously hit out at Djokovic for his opposition to COVID-19 protocols proposed by US Open organisers, saying players need to start earning money again.
Djokovic has said that it would be “impossible” to play under the protocols, which would restrict players to their hotels with only one support staff.
The 17-time grand slam winner earlier urged players to contribute to a fund to help lower-ranked professionals affected by the shutdown which began in early March.
“This is a serious contradiction,” Collins, a 2019 Australian Open semi-finalist, wrote on Instagram.
“No one has been able to play sanctioned events or make money since February.
“This is a massive opportunity for players to start making money again, and here we have the top player in the world saying only being able to bring one person with (him) will be too difficult.”
Collins has urged Djokovic, who heads the men's ATP Tour players' council, to support US Open organisers.
“It's easy when someone's made $150 million throughout their career to try and tell people what to do with their money, and then turn down playing in the US Open,” she said.