Karolina Pliskova says US Open with no crowd is better than no US Open as female players are used to low attendance levels

The Czech star is happy to play behind-closed-doors matches (Xinhua News Agency/PA Images)
16:11pm, Tue 02 Jun 2020
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Former world No 1 tennis player Karolina Pliskova has said she would prefer to play the US Open in front of an empty stadium than not at all because she and her fellow female players are accustomed to low attendance numbers at their games.

The tournament is currently scheduled to take place behind-closed-doors in August despite both the WTA and ATP tours currently still postponed until July 31 at the earliest.

Talking to Telegraph Sport, the Czech player, 28, who is now No 3 in the WTA rankings, said: "No matter how or what conditions, it's better to play some matches than not play anything.

“Everybody has different opinions, and we always play for the people and for the fans,” she added.

Her revelation was in stark contrast to that of 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer who admitted it would be ’difficult’ for him to play in front of empty stadiums.

She argued that female players were much more accustomed to this because their matches are often scheduled around the men’s and are not so often during primetime viewing slots.

“We can have matches where there is nobody,” she added.

“If you play at 1am, then there's not many people anyway. Maybe Roger, he never experienced that, but I think me and the girls overall have had experience of nobody [in the stands], or only a couple of people.”

Federer is used to filling the 23,771 capacity Arthur Ashe stadium (SIPA USA/PA Images)

The Czech player was also confident that she had been able to keep her game at a high level, despite travel restrictions, because of the depth of talent her country had to offer.

“If you can get stuck in Czech Republic it's not so bad, because you can make a competition,” she said.

"The [women’s] players are top players, there's Petra [Kvitova], there's Barbora Strycova, there's eight players in [the] top 100, so the level is still good. 

“To have some matches is great, no matter against who, but especially against these girls where I know they are a good level,” she added.

Pliskova will return to action at the behind-closed-door LiveScore Cup in Prague on Wednesday in her first competitive appearance since February.

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