USTA still plans for US Open to start Aug. 31

The United States Tennis Association is moving ahead with its plans to play the US Open in its projected time frame, starting on Aug. 31.

The ATP and WTA have embraced the plan, along with a reshuffling of the August calendar.

"We're ready to move forward,'' USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said in a telephone interview Monday, "as long as we get all the approvals we need.''

A formal announcement could come this week.

"We've received a proposal and we're reviewing it,'' Richard Azzopardi, a spokesman for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, wrote in an email.

The ATP Player Council was presented with a plan to hold the annual Cincinnati tournament -- which was to have started Aug. 16 -- in conjunction with the US Open in a two-event "bubble" at the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, strict health protocols will be in place for the US Open, with testing regimens and restrictions on the movements and activities of players while they are in New York. Fans will be prohibited at the event.

The shift of the location and date of the Cincinnati event has created a domino effect. The ATP and WTA announced in May a hiatus until at least the end of July. The tours were primed to potentially resume with the combined Citi Open in Washington, D.C., but it was uncertain that either the tours, organizers of the event or local health officials would greenlight the restart.

The USTA's initiative would see the Citi Open postponed until Aug. 16, the original start date of the Cincinnati event. While the Rogers Cup for women has long been canceled, the men's event, scheduled to start in Toronto on Aug. 10, would also go unplayed.

In order to accommodate the transplanted Cincinnati event, the Winston-Salem Open, which was scheduled to take place the week before the US Open, will be canceled.

"Many moving parts remain in play in terms holding professional tennis tournaments this summer," said Jeff Ryan, tournament director of the Winston-Salem Open. "As we previously said, we are awaiting official plans from the ATP and the USTA, which we expect to be made later this week."