The US Open has reversed its decision not to include the wheelchair competition at this year’s US Open following a huge amount of criticism led by Australia’s multiple champion, Dylan Alcott who described the decision as ‘discriminatory’.
The decision of not allowing us to compete, without communication or consideration was bigger than tennis. In yrs gone by decisions would have been made for us and no one would have cared. You cannot be treated differently because of your gender, race, religion or disability. Dylan Alcott
Following various meetings and discussions with the ITF and the wheelchair athletes they have now confirmed it will take place and be included in the programme as in previous years.
In a statement shared by Alcott on Twitter, the US Open says it will bring the full wheelchair competition to the New York state starting on September 10, and include the men’s and women’s singles and doubles, and quads singles and doubles.
“The decision was made following multiple virtual meetings with a group of wheelchair athletes and the International Tennis Federation over the last week,” the statement read.
“Wheelchair athletes will follow the same health and safety procedures as all players participating in the US Open.”
Dylan was the first to praise the USTA for making a U-turn and the players and fans who raised their concerns at its absence, declaring that tennis community was making progress.
“The decision of not allowing us to compete, without communication or consideration was bigger than tennis. In yrs gone by decisions would have been made for us and no one would have cared. You cannot be treated differently because of your gender, race, religion or disability,” Dylan tweeted.
“This is a massive sign of progress for our community, and I appreciate all your help. I know there is a lot going on in the world at the moment, and the tournament might not even go ahead, but at least now we have the same rights as our able-bodied counterparts – like we deserve.”
The other changes at this year’s US Open remain and include no spectators, reducing the number of teams in the men’s and women’s doubles events by half and the elimination of the mixed doubles and juniors competitions.