WTT to Play Season at Greenbrier
9 Jul, 2020
US tournament World TeamTennis (WTT) has said it will play the entirety of its 45th season at The Greenbrier resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, including allowing fans to attend the event.
The announcement comes with events sanctioned by the ATP and WTA men’s and women’s tours, along with the International Tennis Federation (ITF), suspended until at least late July because of COVID-19. However, WTT lies outside these and such it has stated it will be the first major professional tennis league to resume operations since the worldwide outbreak.
The 2020 WTT season will showcase a 63-match regular season over 19 consecutive days from July 12-30, with the WTT Playoffs to follow on August 1-2. WTT’s schedule will include at least three matches per day at The Greenbrier’s 2,500-seat outdoor stadium, with an indoor court to be installed as a backup option.
In accordance with state health guidelines, WTT will allow up to 500 fans (20% capacity) to attend its outdoor matches. WTT said it will engage with its teams and league and venue personnel in conducting all necessary testing and screening for COVID-19, as well as outfitting all parties with the personal protective equipment (PPE) necessary to conduct its 2020 season matches.
WTT CEO Carlos Silva said: “The overwhelming feedback from our players is that they want to play WTT and are comfortable in doing so in a safe environment, which is our number one priority. West Virginia has among the nation’s fewest cases of COVID-19 and I’m grateful to The Greenbrier, the city of White Sulphur Springs, and Dr. Jill Justice (Greenbrier president) for being so welcoming and allowing World TeamTennis to play on in 2020.”
WTT introduced the concept of professional team tennis in 1974, with the legendary Billie Jean King serving as its co-founder. In 2020, the Chicago Smash will join as the league’s ninth franchise, with prize money increased to a record $5m (£4.06m/€4.56m).
This year’s Australian Open champion and world No. 4, Sofia Kenin, along with 2017 U.S. Open champion and 2018 French Open finalist Sloane Stephens, are among the players to have signed up for the 2020 WTT.