US Open tennis site to house temporary hospital

The site of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York is going to be used for 350 temporary hospital beds and to prepare food packages during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier says an area that houses indoor courts at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows will begin to be converted into a medical facility starting Tuesday.

New York state and city officials are trying to increase hospital capacity by up to 87,000 beds to handle the outbreak.

Widmaier adds that kitchens at Louis Armstrong Stadium — the second-largest arena used for the Grand Slam tournament scheduled to begin in late August — will be used for putting together 25,000 meal packages per day for patients, workers, volunteers and schoolchildren in the city.

The USTA originally had said it was going to keep the facility open for people to take lessons, practice or play tennis.

But then the group changed course and said it was shutting the site to the public.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on the use of the tennis centre.

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Report: Wimbledon 2020’s fate to be decided Wednesday

A meeting of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) board on Wednesday will determine whether the Wimbledon tennis championships will be held this season, but a top tennis official in Germany says there is “no doubt” the tournament will be cancelled.

Dirk Hordorff, vice-president of the German Tennis Federation, told Sky Sports that “The necessary decisions have already been made there and Wimbledon will decide to cancel on Wednesday.”

“This is necessary in the current situation,” he added. “It is completely unrealistic to imagine that, with the travel restrictions that we currently have, an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel [can happen]. That is unthinkable.”

AELTC announced last week that it was considering all options for the early summer tournament in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two-week tournament is scheduled to begin June 29, but preparations start as early as April.

On March 18, both the ATP and WTA tennis federations announced the entire clay-court season had been cancelled and play would not resume until at least June 7. Player ranking points have also been frozen until June 7. The French Open, which is the final event on the clay-court schedule, moved from its May 24 start date to Sept. 20.

Wimbledon was last cancelled during the Second World War.

With files from the Associated Press.

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Novak Djokovic, wife Jelena to make donation supporting Serbian hospitals

Tennis star Novak Djokovic and his wife, Jelena, announced on Friday they will donate €1 million — about $1.5 million CAD — to help support Serbian hospitals and medical institutions amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After assessing where they could make the biggest impact, the Djokovic family determined money will go towards purchasing ventilators and medical equipment that are essential to providing adequate care to patients afflicted by the novel coronavirus.

“It’s not easy for anyone to come out with definite answers in public as information is changing daily from one moment to another,” Jelena said in an Instagram post. “The costs of medical equipment are fluctuating in high ranges, availability is low, the delivery takes time, transportation of the equipment is challenging, and learning how to use new equipment takes time and practice (which our dedicated doctors and nurses don’t have as patients numbers are surging).”

According to a database maintained by The New York Times, there were 457 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Serbia and one death as of Friday morning.

In response to the growing pandemic, which has strained health-care systems world wide and sickened over 536,100 people, the Novak Djokovic Foundation also announced the opening of a separate fund at the foundation, where anyone able to donate to this specific cause is able to.

Normally, the foundation focuses on helping create and enhance preschool education opportunities for Serbian children. Given the severity of the pandemic, the Djokovic family determined expanding the scope of what the foundation does was essential.

“What has become clear to us is that this situation is going to be a marathon, rather than a speed race,” Jelena, who is the foundation’s co-founder and global CEO, said. “And it would be good for us to rationally and strategically utilize both our strength and

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