ATP Relaxes Covid-19 Curbs for Players: Dining, Shopping, Living in Private Accommodations Allowed at Italian Open 2021

Published 05/08/2021, 8:02 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman Pool via REUTERS/Riccardo Antimiani


In a huge relief to tennis stars who have been feeling bubble fatigue and carrying the mental scars of playing in the new normal, the ATP has announced certain relaxations in pandemic rules.

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As per the revised rules, the governing body of men’s tennis will allow players to check into private accommodations during tournaments as well as step out for dining and shopping.

These were taboo during the peak pandemic phase across Europe as the players were required to stay cooped in their hotel rooms and their only movements outside were on match days or during practice.

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It is understood that German tennis star Alexander Zverev and his Russian rival Daniil Medvedev had stayed nights at World No.1 Novak Djokovic’s Monte-Carlo residence during the Masters.

‘King of Clay’ Rafael Nadal, who lifted a record 12th career title at Barcelona Open this year, had checked into an apartment close to the venue during the tournament.

Easing of curbs by ATP is not applicable at the Madrid Open

These relaxations by the ATP are amiss at the ongoing Madrid Open as the players have been put up at designated hotels, equipped with permanent temperature controls, and are not allowed to leave the bubble marked between their accommodations and the Caja Magica, the tournament venue.

But it is understood that the players will be allowed more freedom and breathing space during the Italian Open that follows Madrid.

A detailed view of an ATP TOUR logo on a tennis net during the semifinal round of the Western & Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 17, 2019, in Mason, Ohio. (Photo by Adam Lacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Reports suggest that the players enlisted to participate at the Masters 1000 event in Rome will be at liberty to dine out, shop, visit barber shops, work out at gymnasiums of their choice and check into accommodations that suit them the best.

ATP will now subject players to Rapid Antigen tests every two days

As per the revised guidelines of the ATP, the players would now be subjected to Rapid Antigen tests as opposed to RT-PCR tests every two days.

Vaccinated players won’t be required to report for tests at events. However, this exception will only apply for six months only. However, the prohibitions on visiting concerts or bars and pubs will remain.

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The rules will subject to necessary modifications depending on where an existing event is being staged.

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At the French Open, for instance, the players would have to stay at designated hotels and comply with movement restrictions as advised by the tournament organizers.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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