Serena Williams says she will play the US Open at Flushing Meadows

Serena Williams has given her backing to the US Open going ahead behind closed doors this year.

A number of prominent tennis players have criticised the decision to go ahead with the Grand Slam tournament at Flushing Meadows from August 31 to September 13.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic has said proposed safety protocols are “extreme” and make it “impossible” to play while defending men’s champion Rafael Nadal has also said he has no desire to travel overseas currently.

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This is crazy, I’m excited.

Serena Williams

But speaking remotely at a United States Tennis Association news conference, Williams said: “This announcement has been on my mind all day but ultimately I really cannot wait to return to New York and play the US Open 2020.

“I feel the USTA is going to do a really good job of ensuring everything is amazing, perfect and everyone is safe. It’s going to be exciting, it’s been over six months since a lot of us have played professional tennis.

“I’ll certainly miss the fans, don’t get me wrong, just being out there in the New York crowd and hearing everyone cheer, I’ll really miss that and getting me some tough matches. But this is crazy, I’m excited.”

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World No 2 Simona Halep does not currently plan to play in New York with the health protocols put in place by the organisers for the Grand Slam.

“Given the conditions outlined in the U.S. Open announcement this morning, as of today I do not currently plan to play in NYC,” she said.

Halep, however, said she could reconsider her stand if the situation improved by the entry deadline in mid-July and has informed the USTA and the women’s WTA Tour of her decision.

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