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Grand Slams Plan Ahead to Avoid Novak Djokovic Coronavirus Fate

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center (Photo Credit: Reuters)

The U.S. Open could have no spectators, there shall be limitations on gamers’ entourage and everybody should put on masks when onsite except practising or competing. Testing shall be performed earlier than travelling to the United States and not less than as soon as per week together with every day temperature checks.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: June 24, 2020, 11:27 PM IST

Days after a handful of the world’s main tennis gamers hugged and high-fived on court docket in entrance of packed stands and partied collectively in carefree vogue some – together with world primary Novak Djokovic – had been struck down by the COVID-19 virus.

As a cautionary story, it might hardly be extra stark.

For whereas the photographs from the Adria Tour exhibition event in Serbia and Croatia had been little doubt a fillip for some followers starved of top-flight tennis motion, the organisers additionally tempted destiny with the dearth of precautions.

Though the gamers weren’t breaking authorities protocols throughout the event, which was organised by Djokovic, it highlighted the dangers of athletes from completely different international locations mingling with out adhering to what have turn out to be social distancing norms.

Few had been, subsequently, shocked when Djokovic contracted the virus with Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, Croatia’s Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki having already examined constructive after taking part in in his Balkan occasion.

Also Read: Novak Djokovic’s Adria World Tour Has Given Tennis a Bad Name: Andy Murray

Hindsight gives readability, however organisers of the world’s greatest tournaments say they won’t make the identical errors as they reopen the game and search to maintain the gamers protected.

“There were a fair few learnings that have come out of that (Adria Tour),” Tennis Australia’s (TA) Chief Operating Officer Tom Larner instructed Reuters.

“And whilst, certainly the whole event was actually really well-intentioned in terms of raising money for charity, the execution was clearly not great, as were the processes in place.”

Australia had efficiently curbed the virus unfold however a double-digit improve in new circumstances just lately has triggered worry of one other wave on account of obvious neighborhood transmission.

TA gave a glimpse of the biosecurity protocols that could possibly be in place for subsequent 12 months’s Australian Open whereas asserting measures for the home UTR Pro Tennis Series, which shall be performed at closed stadiums.

Players must convey their very own towels and shall be inspired to bathe off-site. On-court personnel can be restricted to an umpire, minimal line judges with no ball-kids.

NO SPECTATORS

First up, although, would be the U.S. Open, scheduled to be held in New York from Aug. 31. Organisers have come underneath fireplace, together with from Djokovic, who initially known as their measures “extreme”. They will now really feel vindicated.

“This situation is exactly why we have created a comprehensive health and medical plan… that was approved by New York State,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier instructed Reuters.

“The creation of a controlled U.S. Open environment, including official hotels, transportation, food, medical and safety protocols, enables us to mitigate potential risk, and appropriately respond to any issues.”

The U.S. Open could have no spectators, there shall be limitations on gamers’ entourage and everybody should put on masks when onsite except practising or competing. Testing shall be performed earlier than travelling to the United States and not less than as soon as per week together with every day temperature checks.

New York City has witnessed an easing of lockdown restrictions in current days however residents have been requested to observe social distancing norms and canopy faces in public.

Restaurants and bars started providing outside service and lots of retailers began to permit patrons again into their shops.

Serbia launched a state of emergency quickly after the pandemic broke out, together with every day curfews for 12 hours, however gradual easing of measures noticed 25,000 followers flock to a soccer derby between Belgrade rivals Red Star and Partizan on June 10.

A sellout crowd of 4,000 attended each days of the Belgrade leg of Djokovic’s event, staged at his tennis centre by the Danube River.

Croatia, the place the event’s second leg was held in Zadar, nonetheless had social distancing norms in place and the Visnjik tennis complicated, with a capability of 9,000, hosted half as many spectators.

It didn’t cease Djokovic and his fellow gamers from taking part in basketball there, photographs of which had been jarring to many as nearly all of the world continued to battle the virus.

Djokovic, who heads the gamers council of the lads’s ATP Tour, mentioned he was unsuitable and “deeply sorry”.


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