The Lawn Tennis Association has re-opened the National Tennis Centre in London for elite training on Friday for the first time since the lockdown due to the current pandemic began in March. Among the players who returned to the court on Friday were former World No.
1 Andy Murray, his brother Jamie Murray, former World No. 1 Johanna Konta, Harriet Dart and Katie Boulter. Simon Timson, LTA Performance Director, commented, “We’re delighted to be taking these first cautious first steps back onto court and toward our best players being able entertain tennis fans again.
“The LTA has taken all reasonable steps to create a controlled environment that is safe for our elite players and their personal coaches to work in, compliant with guidance set out by Government. I’d like to thank the NTC operations team and our Senior Performance staff for working around the clock over the last two days in order to enable us to be one of the first sports to welcome its elite athletes back to training”.
According to the LTA website, "Step One of return to training can be described as a return to a level of organised individual programme training in a defined performance facility while adhering to the government social distancing advice.
This might be individual training or groups of individual athletes training in the same facility/space but adhering to social distancing and other steps to minimise the spread of COVID-19. Under step one, travel to training venues is also permitted."
The next Step of the phased return will include "allowance of a level of ‘social clustering’ within the training environment where small groups of athletes and staff will be able to interact in much closer contact.
This will happen once the government has agreed to move to this step, following advice from PHE and medical experts that it is safe to do so."