LTA Provides Guidelines For Playing In Great Britain

WASHINGTON, May 13, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Following clarifications from the British government, beginning today, outdoor recreation tennis resumes in England during the Covid-19 lockdown with singles play only, other than where players are all from the same household. The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) on Tuesday published a list of guidelines as it pertains to playing tennis, coaching tennis and for venues. They include:

• Max 2 people per court (unless players are all from the same household).

• Only handle your own racket and personal (marked) tennis balls.

• Only one to one coaching permitted.

• Avoid changing ends or change at opposite sides of net.

• Online/phone bookings and payments advised.

• Buffer period between bookings (e.g. 10 minutes).

• Maintain social distancing (2-meter rule) at all times.

• Follow public health guidelines for hygiene.

• Do not play if you are self-isolating.

“We know how important it is for people to be active and the particular role tennis can have in the physical and mental wellbeing of those that play it,” an LTA statement on its website reads. “By its very nature, tennis is an activity whereby close person to person contact can be avoided, with the Government saying tennis is a good example of an activity that can be undertaken in a way compliant with social distancing restrictions.

“Based on our discussions with Government and following the adjustment of lockdown restrictions, the LTA has developed a set of practical guidelines for venues, coaches and players to follow so that tennis can be played in England during lockdown, where the local environment allows.

“These guidelines apply to both tennis and panel, and outline adaptions so that tennis activity can be enjoyed in a way that is in line with Government advice and helps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They include measures to limit hand to shared surface contact and minimize unnecessary interactions with others.

“These guidelines currently apply to England only, and have been produced in line with the Government guidance on public spaces, outdoor activity and exercise published on 11 May 2020, which can be read on the website.”

Full guidelines for players, coaches and venues:

FFT plans national pandemic relief fund

While the French Tennis Federation (FFT) continues to explore all options in which to stage this year’s French Open in lieu of the novel coronavirus outbreak – including closing off Roland Garros to fans – it recently announced plans to provide 21 million euros to help the sport throughout France during the global pandemic.

As FFT president Bernard Giudicelli explained to French daily Le Journal du Dimanche, “Seventeen percent will go to international tournaments and professional umpires, and a little more than 10 percent to independent teaching pros, who don’t have partial income. Finally, 10 percent for professionals that are Top 100 in France, but who will not get something from the ATP and WTA plan.” 

Citi Open remains hopeful

In a recent video chat, Citi Open owner Mark Ein told ticket holders that he is considering all options – even if it means playIng with limited attendance this summer at the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center in northwest Washington, D.C., whose main stadium has a capacity of 7,500 seats. The tournament’s main draw – the Citi Open is a combined ATP 500/WTA International event – is currently scheduled for Aug. 3-9. “If we can pull it off that’s what’s motivating us, but we will not do it unless it can be absolutely safe,” said Ein, as quoted by Tennis Now.

Welcoming future tennis offspring

News and notes readers may recall a few days ago that Tennis TourTalk shared a social media post from Colombia’s Juan Sebastian Cabal, a lovely photo of him welcoming his second child into the world. As it turns out, according to the ATP Tour website, Cabal’s newest addition to his family, son Juan Martin – he already has a three-year-old son – continues a recent trend of pro tennis players welcoming children into their families.

In recent weeks, Sam Querrey and Mike Bryan, both from the United States, Andreas Seppi of Italy, Hugo Dellien of Bolivia and Croatia’s Marin Cilic all became first-time parents.

Accompanying the photo of father and child, Cabal wrote on his Instagram post: “I can only thank God for giving me one more blessing in my life. I have no words to express the happiness that is so pure. Welcome to the world JM. Your family loves you madly.”

Behind The Racquet – Janko Tipsarevic

Looking back, Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic, who retired from tennis last year after reaching a career high No. 8 during his 17-year pro career, is thankful for the trait of persistence – the ability to stick to something. It helped him endure seven lower-body surgeries during a five-year stretch. “Persistence helped me push through the tremendous amount of mixed emotions that came during my injuries,” he wrote earlier this year for the Instagram series Behind The Racquet. “I am pretty unfortunate dealing with seven surgeries in the last five years. It is a psychological rollercoaster. Though difficult while going through them, it has allowed me to be a better father, husband, business owner, friend and son. I have learned that in order to grow as a person you need to learn how to deal with adversity while also being humble in times of hope.”

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“I retired at the end of last year. I have recently been expanding my academy to four new cities around the world, while coaching part time on the side. After my many years on tour the number one thing I would teach others is patience. Patience helped me deal with a tremendous amount of mixed emotions during my injuries. I am pretty unfortunate dealing with seven surgeries in the last five years. It is a psychological rollercoaster. Though difficult while going through them, it has allowed me to be a better father, husband, business owner, friend and son. I have learned that in order to grow as a person you need to learn how to deal with adversity while also being humble in times of hope. During my injuries there were definitely some serious mental problems I was dealing with, you can even use the term depression to describe how I felt. Dealing with all the ups and downs, doctors and opinions, you just become f**king insane from not knowing what to do. In the end I do not think the general advice of ‘stay positive’ is helpful. There were many times where I fought my way back from injury, played challengers, grinded back, to only get hurt again and start over. I am generally not an optimistic person, or am a fan of optimistic people. I don’t believe that optimists can truly evaluate the situation at hand, while always trying to look on the bright side. I prefer to look at myself as a realist. To see your current situation and understand it to be s**t, while knowing that you are strong, wise and brave enough to face it because there is no other choice, is the only way to live in my opinion. Before I reached my potential I can honestly say that I was a coward and didn’t fully accept who I was. It took some time to realize, out of juniors, that I wasn’t playing against boys anymore and the days of trying to be cool and not giving 110% had to be over. I remember watching Nadal play this up and coming star, Tsonga, at the Australian Open. Nadal was getting blown off the court and was down about two sets to love and 4-1 in the third…” @tipsarevicjanko Read full story and others at (link in bio @behindtheracquet )

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The Way Back Machine – 2017 Rome men’s singles final

A star is born: Alexander Zverev

What they’re writing

Steve Tignor, writer, “The new normal isn’t coming back anytime soon: how tennis moves ahead”:

What they’re sharing on social media

Kim Clijsters / #TheRealHeroes

Stefanos Tsitsipas / Express your love for artistry

Caroline Garcia / Baking inspiration

Davis Cup / Familiar faces now, but in 2010?