This year's US Open winners will receive $850,000 less than the 2019 champions, but the United States Tennis Association (USTA) upped the first-round prize money.

The major will take place behind closed doors in New York amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and is scheduled to begin on August 31.

Men's and women's singles winners in 2020 will receive $3million, down from the $3.85m that was paid out last year, with the total player compensation package dropping from a record $57.2m for the previous edition to $53.4m.

While runners-up, semi- and quarter-finalists will also see their payouts reduced, a first-round appearance will earn $61,000 in 2020 – an increase from $58,000 in 2019.

The USTA will also provide $6.6m in grants and subsidies to players due to the absence of a qualifying tournament and a reduced doubles draw.

"We're proud to be able to offer a player compensation package that maintains nearly 95 per cent of the prize pool from 2019," said USTA CEO and executive director Mike Dowse.

"The prize money distribution for the 2020 US Open is the result of close collaboration between the USTA, WTA and ATP, and represents a commitment to supporting players and their financial well-being during an unprecedented time."

Men's reigning champion Rafael Nadal and women's world number one Ash Barty have opted out of the US Open due to concerns about COVID-19.

Rafael Nadal will respect the decision of any player who competes in the US Open for much-needed prize money as he further explained why he will not be taking part.

World number two Nadal announced on Tuesday he will not defend his title in New York due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP Tour has been suspended since March but is due to resume this month, with the US Open scheduled to get under way behind closed doors on August 31.

As well as having concerns about the global health crisis, Nadal thought playing hard-court tournaments immediately before the rescheduled clay-court swing could have hindered the potential longevity of his career.

However, the 34-year-old acknowledged not all players can afford to pass up the prize money on offer at the major following a heavily disrupted season.

"In the current situation all decisions are valid," Nadal told a news conference on Wednesday.

"There are few things that influenced my decision and the first one is the sanitary reason. The situation worldwide does not look under control, so after checking with my team and family we decide to remain here.

"Secondly, there is a complicated calendar after many months without competing. To play on the hard surface first and then change to clay without a break is dangerous for my body and for my future, so this is another factor.

"And then obviously the personal spirits. Many people are going through a hard time and my mood wasn't ideal to travel to New York and to have all the senses focused in the competition and to give the maximum.

"With the many protocols that we have, it would have been complicated in addition to all that is happening in the world.

"I am not the one to say whether it is a wise decision or not [to stage the US Open]. I respect all the work and the positive attitude of the ATP and the USTA [United States Tennis Association] to make tennis come back.

"I also respect the other players who decide to go, because they have, for example, a different situation and want to earn money there that they need. I respect all decisions, but today it is difficult to say if it is the right thing or not."

The cancellation of the Madrid Open means Kitzbuhel and Rome are the only clay-court events remaining on the schedule ahead of the French Open, which was moved to a start date of September 28.

Nadal is yet to make a final decision on his plans ahead of the defence of his title at Roland Garros, where he has been triumphant a record 12 titles.

"I am preparing for clay in Europe. It depends on how the situation is and if everything is under control or not," said Nadal.

"I understood that it was much better for my body to train on a slow surface, which is less aggressive for the general well-being. Although that did not take away from me being able to play later in New York.

"I do not know if I will play Rome or not. I await news of the new adapted calendar after the cancellation of Madrid and from there I will have to make decisions."

The Madrid Open will not be staged this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

September 12-20 were the revised dates for the prestigious tournament to be held after it was originally due to take place from May 1-10.

It emerged last week that local health authorities had advised Madrid Open organisers to cancel the event next month due to the "complex situation that COVID-19 continues to generate".

A spike in coronavirus cases has since prompted new measures to control the spread of the virus to be introduced, including a directive that social gatherings are to be reduced to 10 people - both in public and private meetings.

Organisers on Tuesday confirmed the tournament at the Caja Magica, due to start a fortnight before the French Open, has been cancelled and the 2021 edition will be held from April 30 to May 9.

Madrid Open director Feliciano Lopez said: "We have given our all to stage the tournament.

"After the first cancellation in May, we got to work on the September date with the hope of being able to enjoy first-class tennis in the Caja Magica during this year which has been so hard for everyone.

"However, the continued instability is still too great to hold a tournament like this in complete safety. Once again, we would like to thank the Madrid City Council and all of our sponsors and suppliers for being by our side during every step we have taken."

The cancellation means there will be no WTA Premier Mandatory events this year; with Indian Wells, the Miami Open and China Open already having been scrapped.

It is another big blow in a week that has seen WTA Tour action return at the Palermo Open. The ATP Tour is set to resume in New York on August 22 at the Western and Southern Open.

The US Open is then scheduled to start at Flushing Meadows on August 31.

World number seven Alexander Zverev is still unsure if he will play the US Open.

The grand slam is scheduled to start on August 31 amid the coronavirus pandemic, but uncertainty remains over the strength of the field due to health concerns.

Zverev, coming off three wins at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, is unsure if he will make the trip to New York.

"I will see because the situation right now in the US is not that great so I don't know what we will decide with my team," the German told Tennis Majors.

"I want to play tournaments, but I think the US right now is a little bit of a funny place."

The United States has seen more than 4.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the death toll exceeding 158,000.

Zverev, 23, said he would wait and see before making a decision on the US Open.

"I think just see how it develops over the next few weeks, if the cases go up, how the travelling will be and if it will be safe," he said.

"I might not to go there if I don't feel safe, my team doesn't feel safe. I'm still quite young but everybody that is involved with me maybe is a little bit older and they're in more danger than I am."

Tennis had a rotten lockdown but now the professional tours are emerging from hibernation. 

The men must wait a fortnight, but in Sicily a number of leading women will, from Monday, take part in the Palermo Open, a minor clay-court event that will face scrutiny like it has never known before. 

Tennis must prove it can stage events responsibly, not least because the sport's reputation took a hit with the calamitous ad hoc Adria Tour. That event saw stars including men's world number one Novak Djokovic, whose brainchild it was, and Grigor Dimitrov hit by coronavirus. 

The ATP and the WTA, governing bodies of the men's and women's tours respectively, will apply stringent rules and demand impeccable player compliance over the coming months. 

They have already seen tennis wiped out in China for the rest of the year, on top of Wimbledon's cancellation, and can ill afford any further momentous setbacks. 

At the end of August, the US Open is due to begin at Flushing Meadows, a behind-closed-doors grand slam.

But with a number of leading players already opting out or showing reluctance to travel during the pandemic period, it would be easier to return a barrage of John Isner serves than to accurately figure how the rest of the tennis year pans out. 

Sicily for starters

Palermo organisers expected Simona Halep, the world number two and reigning Wimbledon champion, to join them, and it was with "great bitterness" that they acknowledged the news she would be staying at home in Romania. 

Halep cited rising COVID-19 cases in her home country and her own "anxieties around international air travel". 

Jelena Ostapenko, Johanna Konta and Svetlana Kuznetsova were among others to pull out, with a number of factors behind the loss of a host of the event's star attractions. 

Arguably, though, the standard of the tennis in the week ahead will pale into insignificance against the success of the tournament from a health and safety perspective. 

One player tested positive for coronavirus after arriving in Palermo, organisers said on Saturday, and was kept away from all others, withdrawing from the tournament. 

The eyes of the tennis world will focus on the modest ASD Country Time Club, not least because a small number of tennis fans will also be allowed entry. 

American trilogy

Can the United States, where over 150,000 have died with coronavirus, provide safe haven for the biggest stars in tennis later this month? 

Authorities are optimistic ahead of a disrupted US hard-court swing getting under way, but there can be no guarantees, despite best efforts. There are three major tournaments in the US in August, each brimming with the biggest names in the game. 

A new WTA event in Kentucky was announced in mid-July, and starts on August 10, with a field boasting Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff.  

From Kentucky, the best women's players in the world will head to New York for the Western and Southern Open, relocated to Flushing Meadows from Cincinnati this year in a move to save the tournament. 

That event, scheduled to run from August 21 to 28, is where the elite men make their re-entrance, with no ATP events scheduled until then. 

And the following week sees the US Open get under way at the same venue - all being well. 

Players will be expected to keep to their tournament bubbles throughout, tests will be carried out and players closely monitored. Any slip-ups could spell peril. 

Who's coming back? Who's not?

Halep is skipping Palermo and as of Sunday, August 2, she was not listed for the Western and Southern Open; however, she may play an event in Prague, starting on August 10. 

Given Halep's clear travel concerns, it would be little surprise were she to skip the US Open, which is a decision world number one Ash Barty has already taken. Barty's fellow Australian, Nick Kyrgios, has also chosen not to travel to the United States. 

Great Britain's Andy Murray, who appears keen to head to the States, has suggested a number of leading male players will swerve the US tournaments, yet the likes of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic and Dominic Thiem have entered the Western and Southern Open. 

Any of those players could still pull out, Nadal having notably expressed misgivings about international travel during lockdown. 

But will the temptation to go after another grand slam title at the US Open prove too alluring? Nadal is just one behind Roger Federer's record haul of 20 men's singles slams, with Djokovic having 17 majors to his name. 

Federer is sitting out all this drama, having undergone season-ending knee surgery. 

It comes as no surprise to see Serena Williams, one short of Margaret Court's women's record of 24 singles slams, committing fully to the weeks ahead. 

With no Barty and perhaps no Halep, Williams, who turns 39 next month, may perhaps never have a better opportunity to draw level with Court.

Australian star Nick Kyrgios has withdrawn from the upcoming US Open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The US Open is schedule to start on August 31 in New York, however, Kyrgios will not feature at Flushing Meadows out of respect for his fellow Australians and the Americans who have died from COVID-19.

Kyrgios has been outspoken during the ATP Tour's lockdown, hitting out at Novak Djokovic's Adria Tour – an exhibition event in June which saw the Serbian star, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki test positive for coronavirus.

"Let's take a breath here and remember what's important, which is health and safety as a community. We can re-build our sport and the economy but we can never recover lives lost," Kyrgios said in a video published by Uninterrupted, following WTA number one and countrywoman Ashleigh Barty in sitting out the grand slam.

"I have got no problem with the USTA putting on the US Open and if players want to go, that's up to them, so long as everyone acts appropriately and acts safely. No-one wants people to keep their jobs more than me. I am speaking for the guy who works in the restaurants, the cleaners and the locker room attendants. These are the people who need their jobs back the most and fair play to them.

"But tennis players - we have to act in the interests of each other and work together.

"You can't be dancing on tables, money-grabbing your way around Europe or trying to make a quick buck, hosting an exhibition. That's just so selfish. Think of the other people for once. That's what this virus is about,

"It doesn't care about your world ranking or how much money you have. Act responsibly.

"To those players who have been observing the rules and acting selflessly, I say good luck to you. Play at your own risk, and I have no problem with that.

"I will not be playing this year at the US Open. It hurts me at my core not to be out there competing in one of the sport's greatest arenas Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"But I'm sitting out for the people, for my Aussies, for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives, for all of you. It is my decision, like it or not. And those are my reasons."

Andy Murray expects others stars to skip the US Open after Ashleigh Barty announced she would not play the tournament.

The US Open is scheduled to start on August 31, but Barty – the world number one – said on Thursday she has decided against playing the grand slam due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States has been hit hard by COVID-19, with more than 4.6 million cases and a death toll exceeding 154,000.

Murray, who is planning to play the US Open, said he expected others to opt against playing at Flushing Meadows.

"I think we will see it quite a bit," the three-time major champion said on Thursday.

"I have heard some of the top male players aren't going to play. I would expect that would be the case."

Murray said he held some concerns about the tournament, but believes he will be safe once he arrives.

"It's everyone's personal decision. If they don't feel safe, and don't feel comfortable, travelling and going there and putting themselves and their team at an increased risk, then it's completely understandable," he said.

"All of the players will have some reservations and it's whether or not you feel comfortable taking that risk.

"Like I said the other day, my feeling is once we are inside that bubble they created, we will be okay. It's more the international travel and getting there which I will be a bit concerned about it."

Andy Murray is planning mentally for the US Open next month despite uncertainty over whether the event will go ahead. 

The grand slam is due to begin behind closed doors on August 31, but concerns about the spread of coronavirus in the United States and the potential disruption for players on arrival in New York has cast doubt over it taking place. 

The return of the ATP Tour was delayed further when the Citi Open in Washington, an important event in the hard-court season set to get underway on August 13, was cancelled due to COVID-19. 

A number of players, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep, have expressed doubts about taking part at the US Open. The United States Tennis Association (USTA) is expected to confirm in the next 10 days whether it will take place. 

Murray, champion at Flushing Meadows in 2012, has his concerns too, but is still preparing to compete. 

"Four or five weeks ago, we were pretty sceptical about it," he said, as per BBC Sport. "But mentally at some stage you need to start preparing and planning for that. 

"If it wasn't happening, my schedule for practising, my rehab, would all be a bit different. Mentally I'm planning for it to go ahead. 

"The issue for us is the travel, so we'll probably be a bit apprehensive getting over there. 

"Hopefully, the US Open can go ahead, and it's okay. But if not, I'm also okay with that. It's not like I'm saying it must go ahead. So long as it's safe for the players then we need to try to get back to competing when it's safe to do so." 

The pandemic has had a significant toll on the 2020 tennis calendar, with no ATP tournaments having been held since February. 

The French Open was moved to later in the year, while Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since 1945.

Grigor Dimitrov admitted he was still dealing with the effects of coronavirus after testing positive for COVID-19 last month.

The three-time grand slam semi-finalist was one of several players to contract coronavirus at the Adria Tour, with Novak Djokovic among them.

Dimitrov, 29, played at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown (UTS) on Saturday and Sunday, suffering losses to Richard Gasquet and Feliciano Lopez.

The Bulgarian later revealed he was still feeling the impact of contracting COVID-19.

"I'm just trying to put in effort every single day," he told Tennis Majors.

"Even if I'm tired or not, to keep progressing. One day I feel really well and I have about four hours to be out, but then all of a sudden I need to completely shut down to take a nap or just rest.

"I have to go through that process as much as possible. Hopefully I'm going to recover fully."

Dimitrov, the world number 19, said he was grateful to be playing again after his initial struggle with coronavirus.

"I guess it [COVID-19] is different for everyone. I was not breathing well. I was tired. I had no taste, no smell," he said.

"Everything you could possibly think of. It was no fun. To be honest, I'm lucky to be on the court right now.

"I don't take each day for granted. I really appreciate being here. It's so nice that during time off you can come out and play with your competitors."

There have been more than 16 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 650,000.

The ATP Tour season was suspended in March and is scheduled to restart next month.

The ATP and WTA Tour events scheduled in China for 2020 have been cancelled amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The ATP's China Open, Shanghai Masters, Chengdu Open and Zhuhai Championships were scheduled to be played later this year, but were officially cancelled on Friday.

The WTA, meanwhile, has called off seven events that were due to be played in China, including the WTA Finals.

The moves came after the Chinese government announced no international sporting events would be held in the country for the rest of the year.

"Our approach throughout this pandemic has been to always follow local guidance when staging events," ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said in a statement.

"We respect the Chinese government's decision to do what's best for the country in response to the unprecedented global situation.

"It's with a heavy heart that we announce ATP tournaments will not be played in China this year. These important events have been a cornerstone of the Tour's presence in Asia and I want to thank the organisers for their commitment and cooperation.

"Chinese fans are some of the most passionate in the world and I know players will be looking forward to the next opportunity to play in front of them."

Suspended since March, the ATP and WTA Tour seasons are due to resume in August.

There have been more than 15 million confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll exceeding 630,000.

Tennis suffered a crushing blow to hopes of a smooth restart when the Citi Open, a major hard-court event in Washington DC, was cancelled amid travel restrictions and health worries.

The decision to call off the tournament, which had been due to run from August 13 to 21 ahead of the US Open, was announced by organisers who said they were "heartbroken".

The main tennis tours have been at a standstill since March, with men's ATP and women's WTA tournaments unable to take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. Wimbledon was cancelled and the French Open has switched to a September start.

August has been inked in as the month when the tours will get back under way, and the tournament in the US capital was designated as the first ATP event after lockdown.

Several of the world's leading players had been expected to take part, aiming to pick up form and match fitness ahead of the US Open.

In a statement, Citi Open chairman Mark Ein said: "With only 23 days left until the start of the tournament, there are too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends, that have forced us to make this decision now in fairness to our players, suppliers and partners, so that they can have certainty around their planning."

Such factors could also spell trouble for the US Open, although that remains to be seen.

The United States continues to see high levels of COVID-19 positive tests, and to lose such a significant men's tour event so close to the US Open, which is due to start on August 31, is a big setback.

The ATP cited "continued uncertainties affecting the ability to meet key event planning deadlines" as being a telling factor in calling off the tournament.

It said it would continue working with the United States Tennis Association with a view to the Western and Southern Open and US Open going ahead, with both events scheduled to be played at Flushing Meadows in New York.

ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: "Unfortunately for the moment there are still large factors at play which are outside of our control. We look forward to the Citi Open returning as one of our signature American events in 2021."

Tennis lovers worldwide should have been licking their lips in anticipation of the Wimbledon finals this weekend.

There were two contrasting singles championship matches last year, Simona Halep dismantling Serena Williams before Novak Djokovic got the better of Roger Federer in an epic marathon five-set thriller.

Centre Court crowds and millions watching all over the planet have been treated to classic finals over the years, but there have also been showdowns that many would have expected to see that never transpired.

While there was no 2020 grass-court grand slam this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, we look at a selection of finals that never occurred at the All England Club for one reason or another.

 

Steffi Graf v Martina Hingis

Graf and Hingis met twice at SW19 but the latest round in which they did battle was for a place in the quarter-finals.

German legend Graf was unable to go for a third consecutive Wimbledon title in 1997 due to injury and it was Swiss sensation Hingis who lifted the Venus Rosewater Dish for the first and only time, defeating Jana Novotna.

Novotna gained revenge by dumping Hingis out at the semi-final stage 12 months later after Graf - 12 years older than Hingis - was beaten by Natasha Zvereva in the third round.

Hingis never went beyond the quarter-finals after that, while in 1999 Graf fell to Lindsay Davenport in her last appearance at a tournament she won seven times.

 

John McEnroe v Boris Becker

McEnroe and Becker have shared a commentary box at Wimbledon, but they were never on the opposite side of the net in a final.

A packed crowd would have most certainly been on the edge of their seats to watch two of the most colourful characters in the sport throw everything at each other in pursuit of major glory, but it was not to be.

The closest it came to materialising was in 1989, when American legend McEnroe was denied a place in the final by Stefan Edberg.

Becker beat Edberg in the final to take the title for a third and last time. They may well have met in a final if McEnroe had not missed the 1986 tournament due to taking a break from the sport or suffered a back injury the following year.

 

Justine Henin v Kim Clijsters

Belgium would have surely come to a standstill if Henin and Clijsters had graced Centre Court in a final.

Henin won seven grand slam titles before retiring in 2008 aged only 25 and although she made a comeback in 2010, the former world number one called it a day again the following year as she struggled with an elbow injury.

She quit as a two-time Wimbledon runner-up, while Clijsters - who announced she was making a surprise comeback last year - has never reached the final at SW19.

Semi-final appearances in 2003 and 2006 are as far as Clijsters has been at Wimbledon, and it is a great shame the four-time major singles winner and her compatriot never contested a battle of Belgium for one of the biggest prizes in sport at the peak of their powers.

 

Andy Murray v Rafael Nadal

There have been 24 matches contested by Murray and Nadal, with three of those staged at Wimbledon.

Nadal broke the hearts of Murray fans by beating him on each occasion at his home grand slam, twice in the semi-finals and once in the last eight 12 years ago.

You have to go back to 2011 for Spanish legend Nadal's last appearance in a Wimbledon final, while Murray was crowned champion four years ago but has not played in the tournament since 2017 due to career-threatening hip injury.

While a fit-again Murray is hoping to work his way back to the top and Nadal remains a huge force, time is not on their side and it appears unlikely they will be opponents in a Wimbledon final.

Wimbledon has been praised for its "amazing" decision to pay players £10million from a prize money pot despite the 2020 tournament being cancelled.

The All England Club (AELTC) had pandemic insurance, meaning its decision to call off the championships in April was not one that risked becoming a huge financial blow.

It was revealed on Friday that 620 players would benefit, based on world rankings, potentially handing a lifeline to lowly players from across the world who may be struggling to make ends meet.

Wimbledon is paying out £25,000 per competitor to 256 players from the men's and women's singles, and £12,500 to a further 224 players who would have taken part in qualifying.

Doubles players and those from the wheelchair events will also collect money from the fund, with Wimbledon stressing there would be only one payment per player, meaning there could be no claims for multiple events.

Three-time US Open champion Kim Clijsters wrote on Twitter: "Amazing news — always a class act and leader of our sport!! Well done @Wimbledon – can't wait to be back next year!"

Clijsters, 37, was in the early stages of a comeback after seven years in retirement when the COVID-19 outbreak led to tennis being suspended across the globe.

The Belgian is a two-time Wimbledon semi-finalist who would have almost certainly received a wildcard into this year's tournament.

Spain's Paula Badosa, the world number 94, indicated what the windfall would mean to rank-and-file players.

"Such a nice gesture @Wimbledon on these tough moments. Means the world for us, thank you," Badosa wrote.

Wimbledon said its decision was taken "in the spirit of the AELTC's prize money distribution in recent years".

This year marked the first time Wimbledon had been called off since World War II. Its finals would have been contested this weekend.

AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said: "Immediately following the cancellation of the championships, we turned our attention to how we could assist those who help make Wimbledon happen.

"We know these months of uncertainty have been very worrying for these groups, including the players, many of whom have faced financial difficulty during this period and who would have quite rightly anticipated the opportunity to earn prize money at Wimbledon based on their world ranking.

"We are pleased that our insurance policy has allowed us to recognise the impact of the cancellation on the players and that we are now in a position to offer this payment as a reward for the hard work they have invested in building their ranking to a point where they would have gained direct entry into the championships 2020."

Novak Djokovic has described the criticism he has faced following the cancellation of the Adria Tour due to coronavirus infections as "a witch hunt".

Djokovic was the driving force behind the event that drew huge crowds in Serbia and Croatia before the Zadar final between the world number one and Andrey Rublev was cancelled after Grigor Dimitrov tested positive for COVID-19.

Borna Coric and Djokovic also later returned positive tests, leading to consternation from figures within the tennis community over the decision to stage such an event with large crowds in attendance, where players shook hands and posed for photos with volunteers, while some were also seen partying at a nightclub despite concerns over a lack of social distancing measures.

Nick Kyrgios has been the most vocal in criticising those involved, while Dan Evans said Djokovic had set "a poor example" by staging the event during a pandemic.

The manager of Dominic Thiem, who played in the Belgrade leg of the tournament, said the blame must lie at Djokovic's door for allowing it to become "misused as a publicity show" despite the initial "honourable motives" of raising funds for charity.

Djokovic, who has previously said the Adria Tour was staged "with a pure heart and sincere intentions", believes much of the criticism is fuelled by hidden motives.

"Lately, I just see criticism, some of it very malicious," he said in an interview with Sportski Zurnal.

"Obviously, there is something more than that criticism, as though there were an agenda, as if it were a witch hunt.

"Someone has to fall, somebody, some big name has to be the main culprit for everything."

Djokovic was back on the practice court on Tuesday with Viktor Troicki after having self-isolated following his positive test, but he says he is still uncertain if he will compete at the US Open, which is due to begin next month under strict health protocols despite a worrying rise in cases in the United States.

"I still don't know if I will play at the US Open," said Djokovic, who has expressed doubts previously about competing at Flushing Meadows under the revised guidelines.

"I certainly won't be playing in Washington or Cincinnati. My participation at Roland Garros [for the French Open in September] is safe for now, and Madrid and Rome are also planned."

Rafael Nadal has chosen to launch his clay-court season in Madrid during the week that follows the US Open.

The world number two could face a hectic schedule if he elects to travel to New York to defend his grand slam title.

That tournament will be behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows and it remains to be seen whether the Madrid Open, a Masters Series event, must also operate in the same circumstances.

Madrid's showpiece event was postponed from May and is now scheduled to begin on Sunday, September 13, the day of the men's US Open final.

Nadal may not need to play in Madrid until possibly the Wednesday, but it is possible he could be considering skipping the trip to the United States, focusing instead on the delayed clay-court swing.

After Madrid comes the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome, with the French Open, which Nadal has won a record 12 times, then beginning on September 27.

The 34-year-old Nadal has previously indicated he was unsure about travelling to New York, questioning whether that event should happen given the COVID-19 crisis.

Playing closer to home is more straightforward for Spain's 19-time grand slam winner.

Madrid tournament director Feliciano Lopez, who as a player won the Queen's Club singles and doubles titles last year, wrote on Twitter that Nadal had agreed to play his tournament.

"I've spoken with my friend @RafaelNadal and he's confirmed he will take part in Madrid this September," Lopez said.

He said Nadal would be welcomed "with open arms" at the event.

Nadal responded by writing: "Same with you Feli. See you in September in Madrid."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.