As the outbreak of COVID-19 continues to cause concern on a global scale, the WTA and ATP have jointly announced a series of precautionary health measures that will be implemented on-site at upcoming events including the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, the Miami Open presented by Itaú and WTA’s Volvo Car Open in Charleston.
Following medical advice by health experts, the precautionary measures, which are taken in the interest of the health and safety of players, staff, fans and the wider tennis community, are as follows:
- Players and mascots will not hold hands when walking out on court
- Ball kids will be provided with gloves to wear on court
- Ball kids will not handle player towels during matches
- Ball kids will not handle player drinks during matches
- Players will be instructed to not distribute used towels, headbands, shirts, sweatbands, etc. to fans following matches or practice
- Players will not accept pens, tennis balls or other items to hold for autograph signing
“The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and tournament personnel is paramount and, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common sense precautions for us to take,” said the ATP and WTA in a joint statement. “We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally.”
The precautionary health measures will be implemented across all WTA events and ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events through the 2020 spring season, with a further review to follow.