Following New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that the U.S. Open will be taking place in New York City, albeit without any fans in the stands, Serena Williams is announcing that she’ll be playing in this year’s tournament.
On Wednesday, the 38-year-old athlete shared a video message for fans on Twitter.
“So this announcement has been on my mind all day,” Williams began.
“But… ultimately I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the U.S. Open 2020,” she continued.
“I feel like the USTA is gonna do a really good job of ensuring like, everything is amazing and everything is perfect and everyone is safe and it’s gonna be exciting,” Williams added.
Noting that it’s “been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis,” Williams admitted she’ll “certainly miss the fans” at the first-ever U.S. Open to be held without an audience.
“Don’t get me wrong, just being out there in that New York crowd and hear everyone cheer. I’ll really miss that and getting me through some of those tough matches,” she said before concluding, “But this is crazy. I’m excited.”
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) June 17, 2020
On Tuesday, Cuomo announced on Twitter that the U.S. Open would be taking place , “without fans,” from Aug. 31 until Sept. 13.
The @usopen will be held in Queens, NY, without fans from August 31 to September 13.
The USTA will take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff, including robust testing, additional cleaning, extra locker room space, and dedicated housing & transportation.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) June 16, 2020
In his daily press conference Cuomo said the COVID-19 numbers “look good,” adding, “We’re excited about the US Open being held in [the New York City borough of] Queens. … It will be held without fans, but we can watch it on TV. And I’ll take that.”
“We are incredibly excited,” USTA CEO and executive director Mike Dowse said in a statement. “We recognize the tremendous responsibility of hosting one of the first global sporting events in these challenging times, and we will do so in the safest manner possible, mitigating all potential risks.”