After what happened during the Adria Tour, exhibition tournaments continue to bring fans and crowds to follow tennis in Europe. The organizational disaster of the Adria Tour remains a negative example: neither social distancing nor safety protocols were respected, with the contagion of Novak Djokovic (who is at the center of the controversies), Grigor Dimitrov, Viktor Troicki and Borna Coric.
At the Italian Tennis Championships there was a limited crowd, but at the Tennis Club Todi 1971 there were no problems whatsoever, and the safety and social distancing protocols were perfectly respected, despite Italy being one of the countries most affected by the global pandemic.
Without crowds but with emotions instead were the Ultimate Tennis Showdown and the Batle of the Brits. Germany gave updates on the rules for the two exhibitions scheduled in Berlin in the middle of July. The oganizers and the local authorities have authorized the presence of 800 people for outdoor matches, scheduled from 13 to 15 July in the Steffi Graf stadion, on grass-courts.
The limit drops to 200 people from 17 to 19 July, when instead indoor challenges will be played on the court set up in a disused hangar at Tempelhof airport.
The exhibition tennis event in Berlin
It will be the first sporting event with the presence of the crowd in Germany, where soccer restarted earlier than in any other European country but strictly in empty stadium awithout crowd.
Among the safety measures provided, the obligation to access the facilities with the masks, which however spectators can remove once the assigned seat is reached (and many will be empty seats). Players and staff will be subjected to swabs and temperature measurement, as well as being obliged to maintain adequate behavior even off the pitch.
Edwin Weindorfer, director of the event, said: “The whole world of tennis in those days will look at Berlin, and participants and staff will have to be aware of their role as models.” Theere will be many stars that will participate in the two events in Berlin: among them Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev, both present at the Adria Tour, with related Zverev rigging controversies.
Nick Kyrgios and Jannik Sinner should also be there. In women’s tournaments there will be Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Petra Kvitova, Julia Goerges, Caroline Garcia and Andrea Petkovic. As for the rules of events, there will be a knockout draw starting from the quarterfinals with the first two of the advanced seeding of a turn.
Matches will be played in the best of three sets, but the third will be a tiebreaker. No line judges, but all calls will be handled by hawk-eye as happens in the Next Gen Finals. A chance to forget the Adria Tour organizational disaster.