ATP, WTA Tennis Tours Take Measure to Combat Coronavirus

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Tennis players on the ATP and WTA Tours have been asked not to hand out towels and sweatbands to fans amid fears of spreading coronavirus.

Players will also not accept tennis balls or other items from fans to sign autographs, or even pens to sign them with.

Other measures designed to prevent COVID-19 disrupting the sport will see ball boys and girls provided with gloves to wear on court.

They will also not handle player towels and drinks during matches while mascots will no longer hold hands with players when they walk onto the court for matches.

The measures will apply to all tournaments on the elite men’s and women’s tours this spring including Indian Wells and the Miami Open.

A joint ATP and WTA statement read: ‘The health and safety of our players, fans, staff and tournament personnel is paramount and, as the outbreak of COVID-19 continues, these are common sense precautions for us to take.

‘We continue to monitor this closely on a daily basis, working with our players and tournaments, as well as public health authorities as the situation evolves globally.

‘The precautionary health measures will be implemented across all WTA events and ATP Tour and ATP Challenger Tour events through the 2020 spring season, with a further review to follow.’