USTA explores Cincinnati Masters-US Open doubleheader in New York

Madison Keys (Credit: Getty Images)

The Cincinnati Masters could reportedly be held at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York as part of a doubleheader with the US Open under a new plan proposed by the United States Tennis Association.

The high-profile tournament, which is also known as the Western & Southern Open, is currently scheduled for August 17 to 23 in Mason, Ohio; the main draw of the US Open is slated for August 31-September 13.

After exploring other options in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, the USTA is now looking to stage the US Open on time and at its traditional venue in Flushing Meadows, Queens.

According to the New York Times, the plan for a doubleheader is designed to create a safer “bubble” environment for competitors, which would also allow international athletes to stay in one location.

The proposal would need the approval of the Association of Tennis Professionals and Women’s Tennis Association tours, as well as sports and entertainment agency Octagon, which runs the women’s event in the Cincinnati Masters. The USTA itself runs the men’s event.

Spectators are not expected at either tournament of the proposed doubleheader, which still faces many obstacles to come to fruition amid the coronavirus crisis.

“I appreciate that everyone is going outside the box to think of solutions in these circumstances,” US pro Bethanie Mattek-Sands told the New York Times. “We don’t really have anything in the rule books for this situation.  Putting two big tournaments in the same place is definitely on the right track because it definitely makes it a bit easier to control some things.”