Nick Kyrgios has once again expressed his disgust after tennis chiefs announced plans for the return of the professional tours.
The re-scheduled French Open has been pushed back a further week and the ATP Tour and WTA Tour have both issued revised calendars as professional tennis gears up to emerge from the shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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On Wednesday ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “It has been a truly collaborative effort and we hope to add more events to the calendar as the situation evolves.
“I would like to recognise our tournaments’ efforts to operate during these challenging times, as well as our players who will be competing under different conditions.”
Already incensed by US Open organisers’ plans to push ahead with the New York grand slam, Kyrgios was further gobsmacked by the ATP’s latest announcement.
Responding to Gaudenzi’s comments on Twitter, Kyrgios said: “Cheers mate, you’ve really looked after the players during this time.”
“Seriously f* me, how about you have a collaborative effort with us, potato.”
Serena Williams will play US Open
Last week Kyrgios said it was ‘selfish’ for the US Open to go ahead amid the coronavirus crisis and slammed American players supporting it.
However Serena Williams doesn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with Kyrgios.
Fears that strict health protocols due to the COVID-19 outbreak could deter the game's biggest names from competing at Flushing Meadows have been somewhat allayed as Serena confirmed she will play.
Williams, in a video message played during a United States Tennis Association news conference to announce that the August 31-September 13 tournament will proceed without fans, said she misses the excitement of competition.
“Ultimately, I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020,” the seven-times champion said.
“I feel like the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing and everyone is safe.”
A number of top players, including world No.1s Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty, along with reigning US Open men's champion Rafael Nadal, are among those who have expressed concerns about attending the US Open.
ATP and WTA tours to restart in August
Usually held at the end of May, the French Open was first moved to a September 20-October 4 slot but the main draw will now start on September 27 and end on October 11.
The qualifying tournament, which would not have been feasible in the previous two-week plans, will start on September 21, a boost for lower-ranked players who have been especially hard hit by the lack of earning opportunities since tennis was shutdown in March.
It also means there is more space between the end of the US Open on September 13 and the French Open main draw.
The US Open will be staged without fans and will not include a qualifying draw.
The men's ATP Tour will resume on August 14 with the Citi Open, ATP 500 event in Washington, DC, while the first WTA event will be staged in Palermo, Italy from August 3.
Following the Citi Open, the Cincinnati Masters 1000 will be held at Flushing Meadows, followed by the US Open.
The men's claycourt swing will start on September 8 in Kitzbuhel, Austria, overlapping with the second week of the US Open. Players will then be able to get more time on clay at the Madrid and Italian Opens before Roland Garros.
The WTA announced 20 tournaments, beginning in Palermo, before Cincinnati (played at Flushing Meadows) and the US Open before moving to the clay of Madrid and Rome.
After that the WTA Tour will traverse Europe and Asia Pacific, including the China Open in Beijing and the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen set for November 9-15.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said its ITF World Tour, the domain of lower-ranked players, will resume on August 3 for women and August 17 for men.