No shaking, no showering, no sharing: Welcome to post-virus tennis
No shaking, no showering, no sharing, no signing.
Welcome to what the world of tennis could look like once government restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have been lifted.
On Friday, the International Tennis Federation (ITF), issued a set of guidelines for local and national-level competitions.
“They emphasize that decisions made by governments take precedence and that tennis (either competitive or recreational) should not be played until governments have sufficiently relaxed any restrictions that are currently in place,” said an ITF statement.
The guidelines include arriving at a venue already dressed and leaving immediately after the conclusion of a match.
“Do not use the locker rooms or showers,” say the ITF.
Masks are to be worn while off-court, players and officials should maintain at least two meters between each other while hand shakes are also off limits.
Each player is asked to use their own set of balls – separately numbered.
Ball boys and girls to wear rubber gloves while at changeovers, players must go around opposite sides of the net.
Players are also discouraged from signing autographs and from taking selfies while being warned not share equipment, water bottles or food.
Tournaments should also only be singles and played without spectators.
“While following measures such as these will ensure that the risk from COVID-19 is minimized, the guidelines are clear that the risk cannot be eliminated altogether,” added the ITF.
The professional ATP and WTA tours have been suspended since mid-March and are not expected to resume until July 13 at the earliest.
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