With no fans, U.S. Open tennis will have entirely different feel

AP photo by Frank Franklin II / Karen Khachanov, front, returns a shot from Roberto Bautista Agu during their third-round match in an empty stadium Tuesday at the Western & Southern Open. The tuneup tournament is being held in Flushing Meadows at the site of the U.S. Open, which starts Monday and will be the first Grand Slam tennis tournament held since the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports.

One of the enduring images of the 2019 U.S. Open simply will not - could not - happen at the 2020 U.S. Open: Eventual men's singles runner-up Daniil Medvedev goading and taunting the folks in the stands jeering him.

By the end of the tournament, the charismatic Medvedev had turned from heel to face and won them over, receiving wildly positive support in Arthur Ashe Stadium - capacity: 23,771 - while pushing Rafael Nadal to five sets in a rollicking final.

Neither those early boos nor late cheers will be heard this year at Flushing Meadows, where the American Grand Slam tournament begins Monday. All spectators were banned from the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, one of several measures meant to protect players and others on site from getting - or spreading - the novel coronavirus.