Madrid Open chief says tournaments ‘now need to provide a lot of safety’ protocols after Adria Tour debacle

ATP Tour
Caja Magica

Madrid Open organisers are “confident” they will have spectators at the event, but insist their health and safety measures are required to be strict due to “everything that happened in Serbia and some other tournaments”.

The tennis season will resume in August following a five-month break due to the coronavirus and several North American tournaments, including the US Open, will be played without spectators.

However, the Covid-19 curve seems to have flattened in Europe and Roland Garros organisers have announced that they will allow spectators to fill “up to 60%” of stadiums at the French Open.

Madrid Open Tournament Director Feliciano Lopez says they will also have fans at the event.

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“Yes, we are working on that with the government of Madrid. We presented our protocols a few days ago,” he told Essentially Sports. “The government, they were very happy, actually, they were very surprised of how strict is our protocols in terms of safety for the fans and especially for the players.

He continued: “We are very confident that we will be able to have some spectators. If we don’t have another wave of COVID 19 during July and August, we are confident that we can have more percentages. Maybe we can have a little bit more if the situation continues to get better.”

The ATP Masters 1000 event, which was initially due to take place in May before being rescheduled to September 14-20, will have “a lot of safety” measures following the Adria Tour controversy.

The exhibition tournament in Serbia was cancelled midway through after several players, including world No 1 Novak Djokovic and world No 17 Grigor Dimitrov, tested positive for Covid-19.

Their positive results came after a lack of social distancing, which was not in place in Serbia at the time.

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“Every tournament now needs to provide a lot of safety because after everything that happened in Serbia and some other tournaments. I know we are taking risks also when we decided to deliver the event,” Lopez said.

He added: “I think tennis needs to resume. And if we do things properly if we provide a good protocol for the players and fans then I think we will be able to resume the tour and we as players will have the chance to compete again and I think this is what we need right now.”

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