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    Thabo Sefolosha knows what it’s like to be a black man, on the ground, surrounded by police officers. Such was the scenario when George Floyd died in Minneapolis last week. And when Sefolosha watched that video, his memories came flooding back. “I was just horrified by what I saw,' Sefolosha said. “That could have been me.' Time has not healed all wounds for Sefolosha, the NBA veteran who said he was attacked by a group of New York Police Department officers in April 2015 while they were arresting him outside a nightclub in the city’s Chelsea neighborhood. The leg that was broken in the fracas is fine now. The emotional pain returned last week when he saw video of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air in the final moments of his life as a white police officer — subsequently charged with murder — pressed a knee on his neck. Sefolosha has not watched much news since. His experience with police in New York has left him with a deep distrust of law enforcement, the pangs of angst flooding back even when he walks into NBA arenas and sees uniformed officers. And the latest example of police brutality left him even more upset. “People talk about a few rotten apples,” Sefolosha said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But you know, in my experience and from what we’re seeing, I think it’s deeper than that as a culture that’s deeply rooted in it, to be honest. That’s just my honest opinion. I think it’s really ... part of a culture where it’s deeper than just a few bad apples.” The four officers who were involved in the incident where Floyd died were fired; the one who knelt on Floyd’s neck, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Massive protests have broken out in several cities in recent days. Sefolosha — a black man and Swiss citizen who plays for the Houston Rockets — considered but decided against joining protests in Atlanta, where he is waiting for the resumption of the NBA season that was shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic. “I’m mad, for sure,” Sefolosha said. “That’s for sure. I mean, it’s 2020. Nobody should have to go through this in this time, especially after black people have given up so much for America. Black people have given up so much and done so much for this country. It’s hurtful to see it this way.” Sefolosha's perspective changed forever on April 8, 2015. Chris Copeland, an NBA player at the time, was among three people stabbed outside the club where Sefolosha was that night; police arrived and ordered everyone to leave the area. Sefolosha says he complied but began getting harassed by officers anyway. Before long, he was on the ground. Sefolosha’s leg was broken and some ligaments were torn in the fracas, and he was arrested on several charges that a jury needed about 45 minutes to determine were unfounded. He wound up suing for $50 million, alleging his civil rights were violated, settled for $4 million and gave much of that money to a public defenders' organization working in marginalized communities. “It changed me a lot, toward the way I see law enforcement in this country,” Sefolosha said. “And also toward the way I see the whole justice system. I went to court and I had to do all of this to prove my innocence. It really got me deep into the system and I’m really skeptical of the whole system.” NBA players have used their platforms often in recent years to protest racial inequality. Sterling Brown of the Milwaukee Bucks filed a federal civil rights lawsuit after police used a stun gun on him and arrested him over a parking incident in 2018. On Saturday, Malcolm Brogdon of the Indiana Pacers and Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics were among those taking part in Atlanta protests. “You see what happened in Minnesota where three human beings with a badge are watching another human being killing somebody,” said Sefolosha, who has played in the NBA since 2006 and intends to return to Switzerland when he retires. “And instead of saying, ‘OK, this is my duty as a human being,’ the duty was more toward not interfering with the other officer and saying, ‘We are a clan, we stick together no matter what.’ It should be the other way around.' The NBA is closing in on finalizing a plan to resume the season in July at the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida. Sefolosha and the Rockets figure to be contenders for a championship when play resumes. For obvious reasons, Sefolosha's mind isn't there yet. “I’ll be happy to be with my teammates and reunited with basketball in general,” Sefolosha said. “But you know, we’re human beings, and the fight has been going on for too long and the same protests have been going on for too long. I think it’s definitely time for change and that should be a priority for all of us.” ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The College Football Hall of Fame is boarded up and assessing damage from a destructive night of protests in downtown Atlanta. The facility’s most valuable trophies and artifacts were moved to a secure facility in case additional trouble breaks out amid nationwide unrest over the death in Minneapolis of a handcuffed black man who pleaded to police that he could not breathe. Kimberly Beaudin, the hall’s chief executive director, said Sunday that the extensive glass facade of the nearly 95,000-square-foot building was shattered Friday night. Rioters also broke into the street-level gift shop, stole merchandise and left it “pretty trashed,” she added. But, other than some broken glass that fell into a large exhibition area shaped like a football field, the interior of the hall was not breached by the protesters. “All of it can repaired. All of it can be recovered. All of the merchandise can be replaced,” Beaudin told The Associated Press. “We’re very thankful.” Previously located in South Bend, Indiana, the Hall of Fame opened a new $68.5 million facility in Atlanta in 2014, taking a prime spot adjacent to the Georgia World Congress Center and right across the street from Centennial Olympic Park. It is part of a hub of downtown tourist attractions that also includes the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and a giant Ferris wheel. That area became the epicenter of Atlanta’s protests over the death of George Floyd. Thousands of people jammed the streets, clashing with police and damaging businesses. The Hall of Fame had been making plans to reopen after shutting down in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. Beaudin said those plans likely will be pushed back because of the time needed to make repairs. “We had been working through scenario A and scenario B,” she said. “Now, we have scenario C.” More protests were staged Saturday in Atlanta, but no additional damage was reported to the Hall of Fame or other businesses around Centennial Olympic Park. The city was under a curfew and a heavy presence of police and National Guard soldiers curtailed a repeat of Friday night’s carnage. Beaudin and other Hall of Fame officials surveyed the damage Saturday morning and were heartened to be joined by dozens of fellow citizens who turned up with brooms and trash bags to help clean up the debris. The front of the facility was hastily boarded up and the collection of historic items — including a Heisman Trophy, a national championship trophy and countless other items documenting the history of college football — were removed from the hall. “We very much wanted to get our eyes on everything,” Beaudin said. “We took the extra precaution to ... move all the valuable artifacts, the trophies and everything else. We wanted to take an abundance of caution, so we moved them off site to a secure facility. There are some iconic items. We don’t want them falling into the wrong hands.” In addition to welcoming thousands of visitors each year, the Hall of Fame hosts college football’s annual awards night and other events such as the Southeastern Conference media days. The SEC was set to host its preseason media function at the hall for the second time in mid-July, though those plans are up in the air because of the pandemic. If the league decides to stage the event in Atlanta, rather that holding it virtually, the Hall of Fame will have enough time to make repairs, Beaudin said. “We will be full prepared to host that event if the SEC decides to move forward with it,” she said. ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
  • Jadon Sancho joined protests across German soccer at the weekend by lifting his jersey after scoring to reveal a T-shirt with the handwritten message “Justice for George Floyd” on the front. Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee for several minutes on his neck. Sancho was shown a yellow card for his gesture which came after he scored the second goal for Borussia Dortmund against Paderborn on Sunday. Earlier, Marcus Thuram took a knee after scoring in Borussia Mönchengladbach’s win over Union Berlin. The Gladbach forward scored in the first half and then dropped his left knee to the ground and rested his right arm on his right thigh as he bowed his head in reflection. He spent five seconds in this position before getting up again to continue. “No explanation needed,” Gladbach said on Twitter with a picture of Thuram kneeling. It evoked memories of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the American national anthem before games to protest police brutality and racial inequality amid the Black Lives Matter movement. The 22-year-old Thuram, who also scored Gladbach’s third goal, made no comment on his gesture after the game. “He got to the point,” Gladbach coach Marco Rose said. “He made a sign against racism, one we all completely support of course. I believe that everyone fully supports it, that everyone has the same thoughts he does.” Thuram is the son of French World Cup winner Lilian Thuram, an outspoken antiracism campaigner. Floyd’s death and footage of his neck pinned under Chauvin’s knee reignited fury over the treatment of African-Americans at the hands of police, leading to nightly protests and violent clashes with law enforcement throughout the United States. On Saturday, Schalke’s American midfielder Weston McKennie wore an armband with the handwritten message “Justice for George” around his left arm. McKennie later said on Twitter: “We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!” McKennie also said that he felt good using his platform to address a long-standing problem. In Sunday’s games, Gladbach beat Union Berlin 4-1 while Dortmund routed Paderborn 6-1. Schalke lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen on Saturday. Dortmund stayed seven points behind Bayern Munich in second place. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Ciarán Fahey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/cfaheyAP
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp says having the squad back together is a “massive, massive lift” as his team prepares to wrap up a first league title in 30 years. English football has been on hold since mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic but 'Project Restart' is well underway and the Premier League is set resume on June 17. Liverpool has a massive 25-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City. Liverpool stepped up preparations by resuming contact training in recent days, with Klopp looking to hit the ground running in the postponed Merseyside derby. “We don’t have to be match-fit now,” he told Liverpoolfc.com. “We try it with increasing intensity, day by day, but we have to be fit on the 19th or 20th, whichever day they will give us against Everton, I think. That’s the moment when we want to be at 100%.' Klopp noted the length of the break was unprecedented. “We never had nine weeks without football training in our lives - since we played football, pretty much,' Klopp said. ___ Sri Lanka’s national cricket squad will start training from Monday after more than two months of restrictions. Sri Lanka Cricket announced Sunday that 13 players for the men's team — selected across the three formats of the game — will undergo a 12-day residential training camp at Colombo Cricket Club. Bowlers dominate the squad. They will need more time for conditioning before going into matches, the cricket board said. The training camp will be conducted under strict health guidelines and the players will not be allowed to venture out of the training venue or their hotel for personal purposes during the camp, the board said. There are 1,630 COVID-19 cases reported from Sri Lanka so far with 10 deaths. Authorities say these come from identifiable clusters and from among those returning from overseas. ___ The coach of Italian soccer club Atalanta says he acquired COVID-19 and was concerned for his life in mid-March. Gian Piero Gasperini tells the Gazzetta dello Sport that he started feeling sick on March 9, a day before Atalanta played at Valencia in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16. He says that when he returned to Bergamo, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, “I didn’t have a fever but I felt destroyed and as if I had a 40-degree (Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit) fever.” He adds, “Every two minutes an ambulance passed by as there’s a hospital nearby. It seemed like a war. At night, I would think, ‘If go in (the hospital), what will happen to me?’” Gasperini said he quickly recovered without checking into the hospital and didn’t confirm he had the virus until the entire Atalanta team was tested 10 days ago. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Prolific striker Mauro Icardi's arrival at French champion Paris Saint-Germain on a four-year deal raises doubts as to record scorer Edinson Cavani's future at the club. Icardi joined PSG on a season's loan and had impressed with 20 goals in 31 games when the league season was stopped because of the coronavirus pandemic. His convincing performances pushed him ahead of Cavani in coach Thomas Tuchel's attacking hierarchy. Cavani is PSG's all-time record scorer with 200 goals in 300 games and remains a huge fan favorite, but the 33-year-old Uruguay striker is one of several players whose contracts are running out this season. PSG took up its option to buy the 27-year-old Icardi and gave him a contract until June 2024. Given Icardi's relative youth, and the easy way he combined with Kylian Mbappé, Neymar and Ángel Di María in attack, it may prove increasingly hard for Cavani to get games if he signs a new contract. Cavani was linked with a move to Atlético Madrid during the January transfer window but PSG reportedly turned down an offer of 15 million euros from the Spanish club. No financial details were given by PSG about how much Icardi cost, but Italian media reported the transfer as costing 50 million euros ($55.5 million) with additional bonuses. The prolific Icardi netted 124 goals in 219 games for Inter but his spell there ended amid a bitter falling out. Many observers were circumspect when he joined PSG on loan at the end of the summer transfer window. But he took to French soccer quickly and used his excellent first touch, elusive movement off the ball and ice-cool finishing to contribute 12 league goals, one fewer than Neymar. Icardi and Mbappé combined particularly well, reading each other's runs in attack and taking their chances efficiently. The French league was ended with 10 rounds remaining after the government called off domestic competitions at the end of April, but PSG remains in contention to win the Champions League for the first time after reaching the quarterfinals. The Champions League is set to be completed in late summer. If so, those games could prove to be Cavani's last for the club he joined as a then-record signing of 64 million euros ($71 million) in 2013. After initially struggling to win over fans who compared him to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and mocked his erratic finishing, he won them over and became widely appreciated for his work ethic and team spirit. ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • When Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini was struggling with the coronavirus in mid-March, the prospect of entering Bergamo’s hospital -- which was overflowing with COVID-19 patients at the time -- made him fear for his life. “Every two minutes an ambulance passed by. … It seemed like a war,” Gasperini said. “At night, I would think, ‘If go in there (the hospital), what will happen to me?’” Fortunately for Gasperini, he quickly recovered and did not have to check into the Pope John XXIII hospital. The coach only recently confirmed that he had the virus when the entire team was tested 10 days ago, he said in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport published on Sunday. The 62-year-old Gasperini started feeling sick on March 9, a day before Atalanta played at Valencia in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16. He said that when he returned to Bergamo, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, “I didn’t have a fever but I felt destroyed and as if I had a 40-degree (Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit) fever.” Many experts have pointed to the first-leg game between Atalanta and Valencia on Feb. 19 in Milan as one of the biggest reasons why the virus was so deadly in Bergamo. The match has been dubbed “Game Zero” by the local media. With the virus advancing rapidly across Europe, the second leg in Valencia was played without fans. Still, more than 35% of Valencia’s team became infected. More than 16,000 people have died from the virus in the Lombardy region containing Bergamo, which has been one of the hardest-hit cities. “It will take years to really understand what happened,” Gasperini said. “Every time I think about it, it seems absurd: The high point of our sporting (achievement) coincided with the city’s deepest pain. “I feel more Bergamasco now,” added Gasperini, who is from the Turin area. Previously the only member of Atalanta who was confirmed as testing positive for the virus was reserve goalkeeper Marco Sportiello. Atalanta advanced to the quarterfinals on 8-4 aggregate but has not played since then with soccer not due to restart in Italy until mid-June. “Atalanta can help Bergamo recover, while respecting the pain and those in mourning,” Gasperini said. “It will take time to see people celebrating again in the piazzas or at the airport, but the Bergamaschi keep their fires burning under the ashes. “There isn’t one player who left the city. More than one of them lost weight, which could also be the sign of psychological issues,” the coach added. “It’s difficult to read everyone’s repressed emotional state. Some of them had their families far away. “One thing for sure, though, is that the squad remained connected with Bergamo’s suffering and it will bring that out onto the field.” ___ More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports ___ Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampf
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says “there remains an urgent need for action” following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests around the country that have followed. From New York to Los Angeles and several cities in between, thousands protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men. Floyd was a handcuffed black man who died Monday after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air. Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests have prompted many sports figures — including athletes, coaches and league officials -- to speak out in recent days. “As current events dramatically underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league,” Goodell said in his statement Saturday. “These tragedies inform the NFL’s commitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society. “We embrace that responsibility and are committed to continuing the important work to address these systemic issues together with our players, clubs and partners.” Goodell added that the protesters reactions “reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.” He also sent condolences to Floyd’s family -- as well as those of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door on March 13. Arbery, who was the cousin of Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker, was a 25-year-old black man who was shot dead after being pursued by two white men while running in their neighborhood. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith sent a letter to all of the league's players Saturday, addressing the events around the country. “The country is hurting, there is uncertainty and there is danger,” Smith wrote. 'It is also clear that the pain, while shared by so many, has a history of being (borne) more by some than others. It is as wrong to be willfully ignorant to this pain as it is to use this pain as cover for inflicting pain on others.” NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns also wrote a statement on Twitter, saying he felt “a range of emotions” this week. “Racism is something that we all must take responsibility to end,” Tretter wrote. “As human beings, we need to identify and challenge prejudice, rather than deny it. Silence in the face of injustice only works to protect and perpetuate that injustice.” Coach Dwane Casey of the NBA's Detroit Pistons also released a statement. “Fifty-four years ago, I was an 8-year-old boy living in rural Kentucky when the schools were desegregated,” Casey said. “I walked into a white school where I was not wanted nor welcomed. At that time, there were no cell phones to record my treatment, no cable news stations with 24/7 coverage, no social media to record the reality of the situation or offer support nor condemnation. But I can remember exactly how I felt as an 8-year-old child. I felt helpless. I felt as if I was neither seen, nor heard, nor understood. As I have watched the events unfold in the days following the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a city where I coached and once called home, I see how many people continue to feel those same feelings -- helpless, frustrated, invisible, angry. I understand the outrage because it seems the list continues to grow: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. The injustices continue to mount and nothing seems to be changing. “Fifty-four years later, my son is now 8 years old and I look at the world he is growing up in and wonder, how much has really changed? How often is he judged on sight? Is he growing up in a world where he is seen, and heard, and understood? Does he feel helpless? Will he be treated like George Floyd or Ahmaud Abrey? What have we really done in the last 54 years to make his 8-year-old world better than mine was? We all have to be and do better.” In Germany, U.S. national soccer player Weston McKennie played for Schalke on Saturday wearing an armband referencing Floyd's death. The midfielder had the handwritten message “Justice for George” on white tape around his left arm. “To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on to long feels good!!!” McKennie wrote on Twitter alongside pictures of himself wearing the armband. “We have to stand up for what we believe in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!” McKennie’s Schalke team lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen.
  • Bobby Joe Morrow, the Texas sprinter who won three gold medals in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics while a student at Abilene Christian University, died Saturday. He was 84. Morrow's family said he died of natural causes at home in San Benito. Morrow won the 100 and 200 meters in Melbourne and anchored the United States’ champion 400 relay team, matching the world record of 20.6 seconds in the 200 and helping the relay squad set a world record. Earlier in 1956 he successfully defended his AAU 100-yard title and swept the sprints for Abilene Christian at the national college championships. He was honored as “Sportsman of the Year” by Sports Illustrated, and won the AAU's James E. Sullivan Award the following year. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morrow family,” Abilene Christian tweeted on its sports account. Morrow spent most of his life in the Rio Grande Valley along the Gulf of Mexico near the Mexican border. He was born in Harlingen and grew up in San Benito. He starred in track and football at San Benito High School, where the football stadium is named Bobby Morrow Stadium. “Mr. Morrow’s legacy will live on forever in San Benito,' the San Benito school district said on Facebook. Morrow was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989.
  • Jacob Foxworthy and his parents waited patiently as their car crawled through pit road at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on this most unusual of graduation days. When his turn came, the Speedway High School senior climbed out and walked across the race track's iconic yard of bricks, his mother and father holding hands as they watched. He crossed the finish line like his 121 classmates to wrap up a school year like no other — without in-person classes, without a senior prom and without the traditional pomp and circumstance. The Foxworthys didn't need a cap-tossing celebration to express what this day meant. Seeing Jacob in a cap and grown with his father in tow Saturday meant Ted Foxworthy had achieved a milestone of his own after a 4 1/2-year battle with a rare form of cancer. “I had one daughter graduating college and one daughter getting married, and I knew I’d be around for those two things,' Foxworthy recalled, explaining his thoughts when he was first diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma in 2016. “I knew my wife was going to be OK. She’s a fighter. So most of my focus was on Jacob. He was 14 and I didn’t want him to grow up without a dad. I wanted to be there when he walked across the stage. I didn’t want him going, 'I wish my dad was there.’“ He was there Saturday, behind the wheel of the family car, driving through Gasoline Alley, and he was there for the family photo with the old race car that had been brought to the speedway from the high school lobby six blocks away. And then, as school officials whisked other families on and off the track, he grabbed his son's arm, pulled him tight and gave him the hug of a lifetime. School principal Luke Zartman and speedway officials came up with a plan that worked within the state's social distancing guidelines to give these seniors an unforgettable moment. “When we realized we weren't coming back and we realized the seniors would miss out on so many things at the end of the year, to imagine them not being properly celebrated at the end was heartbreaking,' Zartman said. “It just adds a bright spot to an otherwise dark time to to send them out the way they deserve.' Sporting venues certainly have played their part in the coronavirus fight, from testing sites at major league ballparks and NFL stadiums. Field hospitals were constructed at stadiums in California and Washington state and Texas Motor Speedway and Daytona also have held graduation ceremonies. But this one felt different. The silent speedway roared back to life during what is usually its biggest month, bringing the tiny enclave of Speedway along for the ride. Residents lined Main Street and Crawfordsville Road for a parade. Some stood in front of race shops with handmade signs bearing the names of seniors. One by one, the cars came into the speedway, forming a three-car front row at the yard of bricks — for all the world looking like the front row for the Indianapolis 500, postponed this year to August. “This has been amazing,” said Cindy Foxworthy, Ted’s wife. “For the whole town of Speedway to come out for these kids the way they did really is a dream come true.” In an email sent to Zartman a few days ago, Ted Foxworthy thanked school officials for finding a way to stage graduation during a global pandemic. “What you have provided means more to my family than just the ceremony,” he wrote. “This has become a victory for my family.” What he left out was the part about his first challenging summer four years ago, undergoing chemotherapy, and how his 14-year-old son cared for him. “Jacob had to go through this with us, he and Cindy. She was still working and he was taking care of me,' he said. “That’s asking a lot for a 14-year-old kid to spend your summer getting stuff when you’re dad needed it. I was like a pickle that summer. I was sitting in the recliner or laying on the coach, I was just gone,I lost a summer.' They grew closer, and Ted began counting the birthdays and the days to graduation amid a sobering prognosis. Those who survive the first six months with this aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Foxworthy said, still face about an 80% fatality rate after five years. For now, the 55-year-old accountant is working from home and savoring every special moment. Like the one with his 18-year-old son. “That (my dad) is the most important thing about today,” Jacob said. A few minutes later, the family got back in the car and sped off down victory lane.
  • Charter flights to ferry U.S. Open tennis players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York. Negative COVID-19 tests before traveling. Centralized housing. Daily temperature checks. No spectators. Fewer on-court officials. No locker-room access on practice days. All are among the scenarios being considered for the 2020 U.S. Open -- if it is held at all amid the coronavirus pandemic -- and described to The Associated Press by a high-ranking official at the Grand Slam tournament. “All of this is still fluid,” Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Tennis Association’s chief executive for professional tennis, said in a telephone interview Saturday. “We have made no decisions at all.” With that caveat, Allaster added that if the USTA board does decide to go forward with the Open, she expects it to be held at its usual site and in its usual spot on the calendar. The main draw is scheduled to start Aug. 31. “We continue to be, I would say, 150% focused on staging a safe environment for conducting a U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on our dates. It’s all I wake up -- our team wakes up -- thinking about,” Allaster said. “The idea of an alternative venue, an alternative date ... we've got a responsibility to explore it, but it doesn’t have a lot of momentum.” An announcement should come from “mid-June to end of June,” Allaster said. All sanctioned competition has been suspended by the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation since March and is on hold until late July. The French Open was postponed from May to September; Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since 1945. There is no established COVID-19 protocol for tennis, a global sport with several governing bodies. “Everybody would agree to the fundamental principles, I’m sure: protecting the health of participants, following the local laws and minimizing the risk of the transmission of the virus,” said Stuart Miller, who is overseeing the ITF’s return-to-tennis policy. “But then you have to get down into the specific details.” One such detail: The USTA wants to add locker rooms — including at indoor courts that housed hundreds of temporary hospital beds at the height of New York’s coronavirus outbreak — and improve air filtration in existing spaces. Also being considered: no locker-room access until just before a match. So if anyone goes to Flushing Meadows just to train, Allaster said, “You come, you practice, and return to the hotel.” The USTA presented its operational plan to a medical advisory group Friday; now that will be discussed with city, state and federal government officials. “The fundamental goal here is to mitigate risk,” Allaster said. Governors around the country, such as New York’s Andrew Cuomo, who are open to allowing professional sports resume say that should be without fans. “We are spending a lot of time and energy on all the models, including no fans on site,” Allaster said. “The government will help guide us.” In 2019, about 850,000 people attended the U.S. Open site from the week before the main draw through the finals. Lew Sherr, the USTA’s chief revenue officer, told the AP it is “less and less likely” spectators would be at the U.S. Open this year. That, Sherr said, means “forgoing ticketing revenue, forgoing hospitality revenue, forgoing a portion of your sponsorship revenue.” But TV and digital rights fees, plus remaining sponsorship dollars, are “significant enough that it’s still worth it to go forward with a no-fans-on-site U.S. Open,” he said. Other areas Allaster addressed: SCORING Having best-of-three-set matches in men’s singles “has hardly been discussed,” she said. “If the players came to us and said, ‘That is something we want to do,’ we would consider it. But we will not make a unilateral decision on that without player input.” TESTING Before traveling to New York, players would need proof of a negative COVID-19 test. “Once they come into our, let’s say, ‘U.S. Open world,’” Allaster said, “there will be a combination of daily health questionnaires, daily temperature checks and ... some nasal or saliva or antibody testing.” CHARTERS Paris, Vienna, Frankfurt, Buenos Aires and Dubai are among the cities where players could catch a flight to John F. Kennedy International Airport on an airline that is a tournament partner. Afterward, players might be taken to where they play next; tournament sites in later September could include Paris, Madrid or Rome. ENTOURAGES “A player coming with an entourage of five, six, seven, eight is not something that’s in the plan,” Allater said. One possibility: Tournaments could provide physiotherapists and masseuses so players don’t bring their own. OFFICIATING Matches could use fewer line judges than usual, with more reliance on line-calling technology. “It’s a hard one,” Allaster said. “Obviously, we want to ensure that we have the highest level of integrity.” BALL PERSONS The current plan is to have them -- only adults, no kids. ___ Follow Howard Fendrich on Twitter at https://twitter.com/HowardFendrich ___ More AP Tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports