If tennis players flout rules on going out in the German capital to enjoy its nightlife, they will be excluded from competing. The stern warning from organizers comes in the wake of the coronavirus-hit Adria tour.
Organizers of tennis tournaments in Berlin warned players on Monday that they will be kicked out of competitions should they break COVID-19 hygiene rules by partying in the German capital.
The threat comes on the back of the coronavirus hit Adria tour, arranged by Novak Djokovic. The Serb later tested positive for the virus, as did several other competitors who took part.
The backlash from that tournament increased when footage emerged of numerous players dancing together at a nightclub, including Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and top German player Alexander Zverev.
Zverev then compounded the issue by being caught on camera at a party in Monaco, despite having promised to self-isolate. Zverev had tested negative.
Follow the rules or go home
The players in Berlin "will have to follow our strict regulations," organizer Edwin Weindorfer told local broadcaster RBB. "If that is not observed and the players believe they still have to go off to some party then they will not take part. We have also communicated that to the players quite clearly." He added: "What happened at the Adria Tour is naturally completely unacceptable."
Weindorfer said that the tournament had lined up reserve players in case any do have to be suspended or sent home.
City health authorities have approved a limited number of spectators for the event organized by Weindorfer, as well as for another tournament a few days later.
The maximum number of fans in attendance will be 800 per day for the July 13-15 outdoor event on grass. At another tournament to be played on a hard court in a hangar at the disused Tempelhof airport from July 17-19, there will be a maximum of 200 spectators per day.