German Fed Cup skipper Barbara Rittner has said that 1,000 fans will be allowed to watch the exhibition tennis tournament in Berlin scheduled for July despite the controversy after the Adria Tour, where four players including World No.
1 Novak Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus.
1,000 fans will be able to attend the Berlin event
There are two events scheduled to be held in Berlin - one outdoors at the Steffi Graf Stadium and one indoors at the Tempelhof Airport.
Ritnner, who is also the Tournament Director, says, "When we host the tournament in mid-July, there will be a strict hygiene concept that we will coordinate with the Berlin Senate. We will have around 1,000 spectators at the Steffi Graf stadium and around 300 in the hangar at Tempelhof.
It will be important to carefully observe all regulations and to test the players beforehand. This is one of the requirements for these events. Rittner continues saying, "Of course, regardless of the Adria Tour, we can also get a message at any time that a player has tested positive and cannot play.
We can only ensure that the strict requirements are adhered to as correctly as possible and ensure that further planning is not jeopardised”. Speaking about the Adria tour event, Rittner says, “I don’t understand the world they live in.
For some, their success has probably gone to their heads. The whole world keeps its distance and wears masks. Yet on the Adriatic Sea, people sat shoulder to shoulder without masks and partied at night”. Besides Djokovic, Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric and Viktor Troicki all tested positive for the coronavirus after playing in the Adria Tour in Belgrade and Croatia.
47 year old Barbara Rittner is currently the captain of the German Fed Cup team. Her career-high singles ranking was No. 24 in the world. As a junior, she won the 1991 Wimbledon Championships. In January 2005, she became captain of the German Fed Cup team.
She has won 2 WTA singles and 3 WTA doubles titles in her career. Among the players expected to play the event are two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Julia Goerges and Andrea Petkovic.
On the men's side, former World No. 2 Tommy Haas will play in the event alongside Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Jannik Sinner. It remains to be seen if there are any changes in the player field after the controversies at the Adria Tour.