Any player who tests positive for COVID-19 during next month’s three-week World Team Tennis season could feel the pain in the back pocket.
Officials at the American exhibition hit-out have laid down strict rules for this summer’s virus-affected edition, to be played at the Greenbrier resort in rural West Virginia.
While signings so far include Grand Slam champions Kim Clijsters, Sloane Stephens, Sofia Kenin, the Bryan brothers and Canadians Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard, it won’t be one-way traffic for participants at the quick-hit financial payday.
Under the rules, any player who tests positive for the virus upon arrival will be stripped of pay and appearance fees.
A positive test during the three-week lockdown event comprising nine teams means payment would be pro-rated.
Among other restrictions: two daily temperature checks for all (limited to around 500) spectators; no linesmen or ball kids and no player touching at the conclusion of play.
While the WTT usually moves around North America in July to cities where tennis is not part of the regular sporting diet, it has always been looked upon by journeymen and minor players as an easy source of short-term income.
This year, things are a bit more serious.
Fans will be barred if their temperature is clocked at 38 Celsius at a gate check; they will get the same again before proceeding to their assigned seats on court.
Players and coaches can look forward to an initial COVID-19 test and will have to wait in an informal quarantine until results are known.