The ITF World Tennis Tour returned on Monday, 17 August, with events in Austria and Portugal, as part of the next stage of the ITF’s Return to International Tennis strategy.
All tournament participants are required to adhere to the protocols and any breach of the Minimum Standards of Behaviour will be dealt with in the same way as any other on-site offence under that tour’s Code of Conduct, which have been updated to reflect the new requirements. ITF Statement
The men’s event M25 Vogau and women’s event W15 Oeiras both feature strong fields including emerging talents Holger Rune, Diane Parry and Clara Tauson.
In order to support a safe return to international tennis tournaments, the ITF has published protocols for all tournament hosts and participants to mitigate the risk of exposure to, and spread of, Covid-19.
Measures now in place at ITF tournaments include:
- Before entering the tournament site, all individuals will complete a daily self-declaration of being Covid-19 symptom-free and not having had any high-risk contacts in the last 14 days;
- All individuals entering the tournament site will be subject to daily temperature screening;
- A maximum of one support person per player will be permitted on-site for individual events, except for players who need essential physical assistance during competition. No player support personnel will be permitted in the locker rooms;
- Spectators will only be permitted where approved in advance by the ITF and, if permitted, must be isolaed from participants to the greatest extent possible;
- Media will be permitted on-site (including journalists, TV camera operators, live scoring) but must comply with physical distancing, hygiene and screening requirements;
- The fewest number of on-court officials requires to provide the appropriate level of officiating will be used;
- Case management and notification protocols will be implemented if a participant does not meet the requirements of the screening, or if any participant tests positive for Covid-19 or reports Covid-19 symptoms within 14 days of the date on which they left the tournament venue.
All tournament participants are required to adhere to the protocols and any breach of the Minimum Standards of Behaviour will be dealt with in the same way as any other on-site offence under that tour’s Code of Conduct, which have been updated to reflect the new requirements.
This includes the ability of the tournament supervisor to eject any attendee from the tournament site for a breach of the Minimum Standards.
Meanwhile, the USTA has cancelled all National junior events until 12 October, as well as all adult Category 1 events, comprising the Adult, Open, Family and Age divisions, through the end of 2020.
“The decision to cancel was made to ensure the health and safety of all those involved, as the interstate travel required for these tournaments carries an increased risk,” the USTA statement read.
“In addition, the different regulations, restrictions and quarantine periods, dependent upon the localities involved, both at the site of the event and in the participants’ home states, were considered.
“The safety of the actual tennis being played did not factor into the decision to cancel the events. In order to encourage local play opportunities that do not require extensive travel, junior and adult players will now be able to earn national rankings points at select Section-level events.”
In addition there are no wheelchair national tournaments in the US for the remainder of the year or ITF World Tennis Tour and ATP Challenger events in America in September.
“Although detailed health and safety protocols had been planned, without the creation of a controlled environment that includes a comprehensive and contained lodging, transportation, food and beverage, and medical testing program in place, as will be the case for the Western & Southern Open and US Open, proper risk mitigation would not be possible—and in the case of these events, this type of environment would logistically and financially be difficult to create,” the USTA statement continues.
The USTA recognises that the coronavirus has been affecting different parts of the country in different ways and with different timing and because of that, it will be possible for people to return to playing tennis safely in some cities and states sooner than in others.