US Open rethinking decision on wheelchair athletes at scaled down 2020 event

Australian Paralympic tennis champion Dylan Alcott led a chorus of backlash after plans revealed on Wednesday for this year’s US Open did not include a wheelchair competition, one of several changes to help stem the spread of COVID-19.

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“Just got announced that the US Open will go ahead WITHOUT wheelchair tennis … Players weren’t consulted,” wrote Alcott.

“I thought I did enough to qualify – 2x champion, number 1 in the world. But unfortunately I missed the only thing that mattered, being able to walk. Disgusting discrimination.”

He added: “And please do not tell me I am a ‘greater risk’ because I am disabled. I am disabled yes but that does not make me SICK. I am fitter and healthier than nearly everybody reading this right now. There are no added risks.

“And for sure there are far more important things going on in the world, but that choice should’ve been up TO ME. It is blatant discrimination for able bodied people to decide on my behalf what I do with my LIFE AND CAREER just because I am disabled. Not good enough. @usopen.”

The other changes announced for the August 31-September 13 US Open are no singles qualifying for able-bodied players, the elimination of mixed doubles and junior competitions and smaller fields for men’s and women’s doubles.

With fans not allowed in, the pared-down US Open will feature the men’s and women’s singles main-draw events, each with the traditional 128 players.

But there will be no fans on site and no qualifying tournaments and the men’s and women’s doubles fields will be restricted to 32 teams in each, down from 64 teams.

Reuters, AAP

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