Wimbledon will crack down hard on any violations of its no-nonsense COVID lockdown policy this summer, with fines of USD 20,000 waiting for any disobedient players.
With the annual prize money announcement coming today at the Grand Slam resumes after skipping the 2020 edition due to the pandemic, club bosses are taking an extremely aggressive approach to any rule violations.
The situation is already looking close to unbearable for the scores of players who rent convenient homes in the local area of SW19.
Now, even the household names will be limited to one obligatory hotel room for themselves and a maximum of one more for a single team member.
Large entourages such as are required by the mega-names will just not be tolerated; nor will multiple free grounds passes and tickets for friends and family be forthcoming, according to London’s Mail Online.
The easy line taken last month in Miami, when Stefanos Tsitsipas was fined a wrist-slap USD 7,500 for venturing out into Miami will be just a memory.
And the issues of fans in the stands – if any and how many – is still to be decided.
The pressure could well be extreme on players, who will be confined to either the tournament hotel a 40-minute drive away under best conditions or the club while the general London public is likely to be free from lockdown and moving about as required.
Two-time champion Andy Murray has already said he is fine with the player bubble which will keep him away from his nearby Surrey mansion in London’s posh stockbroker belt for the duration of his stay at the major.
‘I appreciate that it’s difficult. But, at the same time, seeing 60,000 people died in Brazil last month because of coronavirus, this is what we have to do to be able to continue to do our jobs and to give the tournaments some security.
Obviously I would way rather not be staying in a hotel. It would be a shame but, if that’s what we’ve got to do to keep everyone safe, then that’s what we’ll do.
“If you want to avoid having to be in a bubble for too long, you need to then support the vaccination, because you can’t just say, ‘No we want to just live normally and we don’t want any bubbles but we also don’t want to be vaccinated’.
“It’s a no-brainer to me.”