The USTA has admitted it had to ban Billie Jean King from the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

King, now 76, was not given credentials for the US Open because of the health protocols in place.

“Health and safety protocols required us to reduce our numbers on site to only players, player entourages and essential tournament staff,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier told The New York Post.

“Nothing in the protocols was specific to Billie.

“It’s a very tough year when Billie Jean King is not joining us at the US Open.

“We needed to abide by the health and safety protocols, no matter how strict they may have seemed.”

King, who has been at every Open since 1959, was informed of there decision, and understood the reasons.

“Once the USTA made the decision, she adapted and kept moving,” her spokesman Tip Nunn said.