The ITF World Tennis Tour has resumed this week with pro circuit events in Austria and Portugal, as part of ITF’s Return to International Tennis strategy. This week sees the men's event - M25 Vogau in Austria - and the women's event W15 Oeiras - in Portugal - taking place.
Some of the top players in the field are former junior champions who are now making a transition into the professional circuit - such as Hoger Rune, Diane Parry and Clara Tauson. The top seed in the men's event is Francisco Cerundolo, who is ranked No.
244 in the world, while the top seed in the women's event is Spain's Cristina Bucsa, who is ranked No. 176 in the world. The women's WTA tour has already resumed earlier this month with events in Palermo and Prague.
The men's ATP tour resumes this week in New York with the Western & Southern Open which is a combined men's and women's event. The US Open Grand Slam event is also scheduled to take place in New York at the end of this month.
ITF Tour publishes updated protocols for tournaments and players
The ITF has also published the protocols for all tournament hosts and players in order to reduce the exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19 on its website Some of the measures being put in place include -
Before entering the tournament site, all individuals will complete a daily self-declaration of being COVID-19 symptom-free and not having had any high-risk contacts in the last 14 days
All individuals entering the tournament site will be subject to daily temperature screening
A maximum of 1 support person per player will be permitted on-site for individual events except for players who need essential physical assistance during competition, in which case such additional essential person(s) are permitted.
No player support personnel will be permitted in the locker rooms
Spectators will only be permitted where approved in advance by the ITF and, if permitted, must be isolated from participants to the greatest extent possible
Media will be permitted on-site (including journalists, TV camera operators, live scoring etc.), but must comply with physical distancing, hygiene and screening requirements
The fewest number of on-court officials required to provide the appropriate level of officiating must be used
Case management and notification protocols will be implemented if a participant does not meet the requirements of the screening, or if any participant tests positive for COVID-19 or reports COVID-19 symptoms within 14 days of the date on which they left the tournament venue.
All tournament participants are required to adhere to the protocols and any breach of the Minimum Standards of Behaviour will be dealt with in the same way as any other on-site offence under that tour’s Code of Conduct, which have been updated to reflect the new requirements.
This includes the ability of the tournament supervisor to eject any attendee from the tournament site for a breach of the Minimum Standards. The ITF Tour is the starting points for professional tennis players and players accumulate points that help them break into the ATP & WTA Tours. (Inputs from the ITF website)