Overwhelming favourite Novak Djokovic begins his quest for an 18th Grand Slam title on Monday as a unique, spectator-free 2020 US Open gets underway in a COVID-19 quarantine bubble at Flushing Meadows.
The world number one headlines the opening day of a tennis major that promises to be unlike any other and which is missing several top players due to coronavirus fears.
Djokovic takes on unheralded Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina in a round-one evening match at an Arthur Ashe Stadium that in normal years buzzes with 23,000 screaming fans.
But due to strict measures aimed at keeping COVID-19 out of the US National Tennis Center, only players, officials and a handful of media will be watching in-person this year.
“It is strange to see,” said Djokovic, crediting his love of playing on the New York hardcourts to Ashe, which he described as “the most dynamic and explosive court” in the game. (Guardian)