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11 Jun, 2020 10:51

'We need to overcome these challenges': Nick Kyrgios HITS OUT at 'selfish' ATP as plans to stage US Open move forward

'We need to overcome these challenges': Nick Kyrgios HITS OUT at 'selfish' ATP as plans to stage US Open move forward

Controversial tennis ace Nick Kyrgios says that, with the world still gripped by problems amid the COVID-19 pandemic and mass protests against police brutality, now isn't the time to talk about staging the US Open.

Kyrgios took to social media to call tennis' governing body "selfish" after they backed plans to hold what would be the first Grand Slam event since the outbreak of COVID-19 caused a cessation of almost all global sport in March. 

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In a tweet directed at the ATP, and referencing another message that said that the United States is approaching the grim landmark of two million cases of the virus, Kyrgios said that the COVID-19 situation, coupled with the major civil unrest currently taking place in the country, means that tennis shouldn't be high up on the agenda at the moment.

"The ATP is trying to make the US Open go ahead," he wrote.

"Selfish with everything going on at the moment. Obviously COVID, but also with the riots, together we need to overcome these challenges before tennis returns in my opinion."

Kyrgios also called upon the "big three" tennis players – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal – to make their feelings known regarding the staging of the US Open, which is planned for August 24 to September 13. None have replied so far.

Kyrgios' stance comes as some sports are tentatively beginning to step out from their coronavirus hibernations. It was announced on Wednesday that the MLS will hold a mini-tournament to crown the season's champions at Disney World in Florida, while the NBA has revealed plans to resume their season at the same venue.

Kyrgios' stance was met with some apprehension online, with some fans stating that Kyrgios was wrong and that the COVID-19 restrictions were an "overreaction."

Others, though, backed Kyrgios and said that traveling to the United States at the moment would be an unnecessary risk for athletes given the potential impact of the virus on a victim's lungs. 

Earlier this week, Novak Djokovic stated his thoughts on staging the US Open, saying that several players were wary about the issue.

"Most of the players I have talked to were quite negative on whether they would go there," he said.

"For me currently, as things stand, most probably the season will continue on clay at the beginning of September."

Also on rt.com Novak Djokovic expresses concern over 'extreme' US Open coronavirus safety protocols