Strict Biosecurity Protocols In Place As Professional Tennis Returns To Australia

TA Press Release, June 24, 2020

Australia’s pro tennis players will have the opportunity to compete for $450,000 prize money in a new domestic series starting this weekend.

The UTR Pro Tennis Series will feature stops in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, starting in Sydney on Saturday 27 June, with Brisbane and Melbourne competitions getting underway on Monday 29 June.

“With so much of the tennis season still uncertain, our aim through the UTR Pro Tennis Series is to give as many of our athletes the chance to compete and, importantly, also earn prize money, after months of not being able to make their living playing the sport they have devoted their lives to,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley explained.

“Our team has put an enormous amount of time and effort into the planning of these events, and have worked closely with the authorities and tennis staff around the country on the ground to ensure they are run according to strict local biosecurity protocols.”

The first phase of the UTR Pro Tennis Series will run until August, with the possibility of extending further depending on the resumption of the global tours (ATP/WTA/ITF).

Event organisers have worked closely within government guidelines in each state to ensure physical distancing rules are in place, along with additional hygiene and safety precautions. On court personnel will be limited, with a chair umpire, minimal lines-people and no ballkids. Players will bring their own towels.

Players will enter using their Universal Tennis Rating (UTR), giving them an opportunity to compete locally and have their results count globally via the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) system.

“We are excited to work with Tennis Australia to bring the UTR Pro Tennis Series to the country and provide an innovative way for professionals to compete close to home safely and have their results count on a global scale,” Universal Tennis Chairman and CEO Mark Leschly said.

“Every tennis player – from social and league players to pros – in Australia can use Universal Tennis to measure their competitive ability. Players who have participated in Tennis Australia comps and tournaments already have a UTR, and can view their rating and register for events on MyUTR.com for free.”

Participating players and updates on the full calendar, including wheelchair exhibition events, will be announced in the coming days.

CITY

UTR Pro Tennis Series first events

SYDNEY

Men and Women

27 – 30 June

MELBOURNE

Men and Women

29 June – 2 July

BRISBANE

Men and Women

29 June – 2 July

ADELAIDE

Men

5 – 8 July

PERTH

Men

7 – 10 July

*Full UTR Pro Tennis Series calendar to be announced

Biosecurity, health and safety protocols:

·         Daily health and temperature checks for all on-site personnel

·         Physical distancing of 1.5 metres

·         Minimal personnel on site including no fans and ballkids, reduced lines-people

·         Additional hygiene practices and measures in place, including encouraging frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitiser

·         Thorough cleaning practices, including between matches

·         Players will tap racquet taps instead of shaking hands

·         Separate player benches and players encouraged to change ends on opposite sides of the court

·         Players advised to bring own towels, food and drinks

·         Players to spend minimal time onsite and encouraged to arrive, play and depart, not use showers within the venue and limit their time in any communal area, all in accordance with the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport.