Tennis elites who opt for private housing during the COVID-alert US Open will just have to find their way to the kitchen under strict quarantine rules which prohibit hiring in some domestic help.
The multimillionaire types will be forced to make do inside the “health bubble” being laid on by the USTA, which is taking no prisoners in its enforcement of the Grand Slam lockdown.
“What’s important is the athletes have created their centralized environment, their bubble,within the private home,” federation executive Stacey Allaster.
“The only individuals allowed to enter the home are those who are living in the home.
“Chefs cannot come in and out.”
The Canadian executive added: “Anyone residing in the home is considered a Tier One member, and all members must stay in the home and are tested at the exact same protocols as those staying in the hotel.
“If they want to have more guests in the home, they are permitted to do that, but everyone is tested, and no one is allowed to come in and out of the
Tidying up the premises could also become an exercise in scheduling.
“When the players and everyone in the home come to the site, then (masked) cleaning personnel are permitted to come into the home, but they are not permitted to enter the home while any of the tier one members are in the home.
“They won’t be mixing with any of the individuals in the bubble. That’s the fundamental principle.”
While players in the two official hotels will be required to remain inside and are driven to the tennis centre under controlled conditions.
Leading seeds will each have a VIP skybox at their disposal for the duration in order to make social distancing that little bit easier.
USTA CEO Mike Dowse held out hope that the Open tennis fortnight and the “Cincinnati” Masters to be staged onsite from this weekend will come off smoothly.
“We have 100 per cent confidence we’re doing this properly. It was not a “host at all costs.”
“We were very disciplined in our approach. Again, that was health and well-being No. 1. No. 2 is it in the best interests of tennis. Three, does it financially make sense for the players, the USTA and the broader tennis ecosystem.
“I’m really optimistic that we’re going to look back at this in a few months and really be proud of what everyone accomplished, what this has done for our sport.”