SI Insider: Unsanctioned Tennis Events Continue During Coronavirus Layoff

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The U.S. Open released a statement that they are still planning on holding the event without fans and the event does have the approval of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. Until then, unsanctioned events are likely to continue. SI's Jon Wertheim provides his update on the latest unsanctioned events in tennis.

Robin Lundberg: Tennis is back. Well, sort of. Unsanctioned matches are taking place. For more on that, I'm joined by our senior writer, Jon Wertheim. John, what do you make of the current state of the game right now?

Jon Wertheim: It's trying to figure out how to creep its way back. We've had two unsanctioned events in Europe this past weekend, one of them at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy. He was on the Sports Illustrated podcast and talked a little bit about what he's trying to accomplish. The other was Novak Djokovic and the Adrià Tour through the Balkans. And what we're seeing there are crowds, at least there were full crowds in Serbia and Belgrade. The tennis level has been reasonably high. Some players have been injured. Again, a lot of this is to be expected. But the interesting thing to me is how does this intersect with the 2020 U.S. Open that is still on the books and a lot of precautions and a lot of restrictions are being made. And I think that a lot of tennis administrators were looking at these events over the weekend in the south of France and in Serbia and seeing what worked and what didn't. 

Robin Lundberg: So what do you think is implemented as a result going forward? Any differences? 

Jon Wertheim: Yeah, I mean, I think people are looking at some format changes. I think people are looking at social distancing. People are looking at the fact that these players just want to get back out there. People were horrified when they saw some photos and some videos of full crowds of players hugging each other. And I think, you know, we need to realize that not everybody is experiencing COVID the same way. The flip side of that, Robin, is that this is an international tour. So things may not be so bad in Serbia, but if you know the eight players, they are all traveling to other countries, including the U.S. You see how everything is interconnected. I think that's where some of the concern stem.