Players will always feel at risk without vaccine, says Rajeev

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MUMBAI: Athletes will not feel 100% safe until a vaccine for the novel coronavirus is available and the U.S. Open should only proceed if all qualified players are able to travel to the Grand Slam, American doubles specialist Rajeev Ram has said.

Professional tennis was suspended in early March as countries went into lockdown to contain the spread of the virus and the season will not resume until early August.

Wimbledon was cancelled for the first time since World War Two while the French Open was postponed to September.

Organisers of the U.S. Open, which is scheduled to begin at the end of August in New York, are continuing with their plans for the hardcourt Grand Slam and a decision is expected to be taken this month.

“I don’t see players feeling 100% safe without a vaccine because there would always be a risk of contracting the virus,” Ram, who won his first Grand Slam men’s doubles title at the Australian Open this year, told media.

“The virus is so contagious and in any kind of sport, athletes are always in close contact with their peers … There is always going to be a risk without a vaccine. —Agencies

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