No doubles match, no handshake: ITF's 'return to tennis' guidelines

No doubles match, no handshake: ITF
Scenes like this will be a thing of the past when tennis resumes. File photo: Reuters

London: The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has issued a set of guidelines for local and national-level competitions when tennis returns to action once the restrictions put in place due to coronavirus pandemic are lifted.

The guidelines include arriving at a venue already dressed and leaving immediately after the conclusion of a match, no handshake, no sharing of equipment (rackets, towels, water bottles, etc) and no doubles matches. Besides the guidelines also say that competitions should be held without spectators.

The ITF has also said that players use separate sets of balls (and mark them clearly prior to play) and should go around opposite sides of the net at changeovers.

"The guidelines -- at this stage for local and national-level competitions only -- seek to provide a framework in which tennis can be played again in a manner that protects against the risk from transmission or infection by the COVID-19 virus, and provide a number of practical suggestions as to how this might be achieved," said ITF in a statement on Friday.

"While following measures such as these will ensure that the risk from COVID-19 is minimised, the guidelines are clear that the risk cannot be eliminated altogether," it added.

Currently, all tennis activities remain suspended until July 13 due to coronavirus pandemic which has so far claimed more than 2.3 lakh lives across the world.

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