Family limitations cloud Serena Williams’ US Open status

Roger Federer is out. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic might be, as well. What’s more, presently Serena Williams’ mentor is uncertain of her status too for this present summer’s U.S. Open.

“I think Serena will want to play [U.S. Open] 100 percent, but I don’t know how she can go there with only one person,” her coach Patrick Mouratoglou said to Ben Rothenberg on the “No Challenges Remaining” podcast. “I don’t imagine her three weeks without her daughter, so maybe her daughter will coach her? I mean, she can only do better than me in Grand Slam finals.”

There are proposed limitations, because of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, that would constrain every player to have one visitor at the competition every day. Williams’ daughter, Olympia, turns 3 on Sept. 1.

Djokovic has portrayed those confinements as extraordinary and Nadal, the defending champion, has just voiced his interests about going to the competition in New York City, which has been hit so hard by the virus. Federer won’t play the rest of the year because of knee surgery.

“The rules they told us we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme,’’ Djokovic told Serbia’s Prva TV. “We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.

“They want the tournament to go ahead at any cost for economic reasons, which I understand. But the question is, how many players are willing to accept those terms?”

It stays dubious if the 38-year-old Williams, who has won 23 significant crowns, will be a part of the US Open, granted it is held.

“We were waiting to hear from the U.S. Open what was the plan,” Mouratoglou said. “Now the plan is quite clear, so I guess in the next days we will have to speak.”