World TeamTennis has added several prominent tennis stars to its roster of players, who are set to compete at a quarantined tournament at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia this summer.
Six-time grand slam champion Kim Clijsters, rising star American star Frances Tiafoe, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig, three-time grand slam doubles champion Jack Sock, and two former Wimbledon singles finalists from Canada – Milos Raonic and Genie Bouchard – will all play this season.
“Our player rosters are the strongest we’ve ever fielded for a WTT season and include players with multiple grand slam titles,” said WTT chief executive Carlos Silva in a statement. “Tennis fans are starving to see some great action on the courts and that’s what we plan to deliver all season.”
WTT is poised to lay down a significant marker for the return of live sports competition in front of spectators in North America when the organization stages its 2020 season at a single neutral-site venue this summer.
The mixed-gender professional tennis league will hold its 45th season as a three-week event at The Greenbrier resort. The regular season will take place from July 12-30, with the semifinals and final to follow on August 1 and August 2, respectively.
Traditionally, WTT teams play a 14-match, regular-season schedule in a home-and-away format across the United States. However, in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and the various health and safety protocols that differ from state to state, the organization has decided to stage its campaign at a single venue.
In accordance with state health guidelines, WTT will allow up to 500 fans, which represents 20 per cent of capacity, to attend outdoor matches at The Greenbrier. Spectators will be spaced out to ensure social distancing.
As reported by the Associated Press, WTT will have strict health and safety protocols, which includes dropping without pay any player or coach who tests positive for Covid-19 when arriving at The Greenbrier.
Meanwhile, a participant who tests positive once competition has started would be held out for the rest of the season but still be compensated on a prorated basis.
There will also be two daily temperature checks for all spectators; no ball kids; a chair umpire aided by electronic line calling instead of line judges; and no high-fives or handshakes between opponents.