Fans have been eagerly awaiting their chance to see the US Open after two years of waiting, but thousands were left smoking about ‘terrible’ scenes for the Grand Slam.
The 2021 US Open kicked off with the exciting news that fans, who have been double-vaccinated, have the last Grand Slam of the year after Covid-19 forced the tournament last year without spectators.
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This prompted thousands to head to Flushing Meadows at 11am for the start.
However, new protocols requiring participants to show vaccination cards and go through metal detectors caused chaos.
Thousands were greeted with two-hour queues, in blistering heat, as fans still waited to enter the park at 1:30 p.m.
To make matters worse, leading tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg said a woman had collapsed in the heat.
Fans queuing up took to social media during the Covid-19 pandemic to blast tennis officials ahead of the queues after missing matches.
Others took aim at the chaotic scenes on opening day.
A line formed at the entrance to the South Gate, which was more than 350 meters long and nearly 5,000 spectators waited.
The scenes sparked concerns about Covid-19 on the first day of the tournament.
Lines began to disappear around 1:30 p.m., before the US Open issued a statement about the chaos.
The US Open’s New Covid-19 Vaccine Protocol
At this year’s US Open, tennis fans aged 12 or older will have to demonstrate that they have a Covid-19 vaccine to attend the Grand Slam.
Just three days before the main draw begins, the New York Mayor’s office on Friday required proof of vaccine to enter Arthur Ashe Stadium, the main venue for primetime games.
The United States Tennis Association then elected to extend the vaccination requirement to all participants 12 years of age or older at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, regardless of which facilities ticket holders plan to access.
“Any US Open entrant with tickets to Arthur Ashe Stadium, Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Tribune or the US Open grounds must provide evidence of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine,” the USTA said in a statement. a statement. a statement.
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