World TeamTennis to allow up to 500 fans at matches

By: Reuters |

Published: May 27, 2020 12:27:20 am

Sofia Kenin will participate in World TeamTennis tournament (Reuters File Photo)

World TeamTennis, an innovative mixed-gender professional tennis league, will start from July 5 at the Greenbrier, West Virginia, and up to 500 fans will be allowed to attend matches during its three-week season, tournament organisers said on Tuesday.

WTT said it would adhere to all health and safety protocols required by authorities to ensure the well-being of its players, coaches and essential staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grand Slam champions Sofia Kenin and Sloane Stephens are set to take part in the event, which will consist of a 63-match regular season followed by the playoffs.

WTT plans to stage at least three matches per day at the Greenbrier’s 2,500-seat outdoor stadium, while an indoor court will be installed for back-up.

“The overwhelming feedback from our players is that they want to play WTT and are comfortable in doing so in a safe environment, which is our number one priority,” WTT CEO Carlos Silva said.

The WTT also said it is increasing prize money to a record $5 million, with an added $1 million awarded in WTT Playoffs compensation.

All matches will be televised or streamed live on CBS, CBS Sports Network, Tennis Channel and ESPN+, tournament organisers said.

Tennis’s top professional tours, the men’s ATP and women’s WTA, have been shut down since March 8 due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

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Tournaments in the United States and Germany have since taken place with strict social distancing measures and no fans in attendance.

New Zealand will stage a team-based tennis tournament for local-based men’s players from June 3 while world number one Novak Djokovic has organised a tournament across the Balkans from June 13-July 5.

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