WTA Tour

Director likens Prague Open to 'lighthouse' amid virus

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Tennis ball (Photo by Iván Terrón/Europa Press via Getty Images)
Tennis ball (Photo by Iván Terrón/Europa Press via Getty Images)

The WTA Prague Open director on Thursday thanked all players for their responsible behaviour on and off court amid the coronavirus pandemic, likening the tournament to a "lighthouse" giving hope.

The second post-lockdown WTA tournament after Palermo last week is being played behind closed doors with all line judges and ball boys wearing face masks.

The players, spearheaded by world number two Simona Halep, must undergo regular temperature checks and wear face masks unless they are playing, training or eating.

In a message on the tournament website, its director David Trunda praised players and staff "for their professional, responsible, and accommodating behaviour to unusual but necessary restrictions during these strange times."

"In addition to the joy and excitement that tennis is back, there is a sense of humility and responsibility in these extraordinary times at every step of the tournament.

"I hope we might be also a kind of lighthouse shining modestly in the sea, the rules and restrictions serve in order to make this tournament happen, and situation could go back to normal as soon as possible," Trunda added.

His Sparta Prague club already organised an all-Czech tournament in late May, one of the first following the lockdown, featuring two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova as the Czech government began easing tight measures taken against the virus spread.

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