The United States Open that is established to get started in New York on Monday will be far from complete toughness, terribly far, but will it seriously be the Asterisk Open up?
As of Sunday night, 24 of the top 100 gals were lacking, including six of the leading eight and 3 of the four reigning Grand Slam singles champions: Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu. Even though Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will be in the field, it will have the fewest prime 10 gamers — four — of any U.S. Open given that the WTA rankings commenced in 1975.
On the men’s facet, only 12 of the top 100 were being out as of Sunday, but this will be the first Grand Slam tournament of the 21st century with out equally Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. Stan Wawrinka, a a few-time important singles winner, will be missing, much too.
The absences are largely because of fears about touring and scheduling for the duration of the pandemic.
But if you want to start out affixing asterisks to Grand Slam tennis tournaments with weakened fields, you had finest have a significant box of asterisks.
“It is messy, and it is tricky,” claimed Steve Flink, an American tennis historian.
First, there is the amateur era, which lasted right until 1968 and prohibited experts from taking aspect in the 4 significant tournaments: the Australian Championships, French Championships, Wimbledon and U.S. Championships.
Right until 1968, top men’s gamers — like Jack Kramer, Ken Rosewall and Rod Laver — would frequently transform experienced following making their mark in the novice sport, which meant Grand Slam events rarely highlighted all of the best men in the globe, only the greatest “amateurs,” some of whom been given beneath-the-table payments to assist them afford to pay for to stay amateurs.
The hypocrisy served guide to alter, but it also skewed the report guide. Mr. Laver, who co-received all four significant tournaments in 1962 and 1969, was ineligible for Grand Slam participate in for 5 full seasons in involving.