MUMBAI (Reuters) – The German state of Rhineland-Palatinate is set to host an exhibition event without the presence of fans from May 1 as the professional tennis season remains shut due to the novel coronavirus, according to The Telegraph newspaper.
Professional tennis came to a halt in March after countries started closing borders and imposed lockdown to contain the spread of the virus, and all events are currently suspended till at least mid-March.
The report said players at the Tennis Point Exhibition Series will have to wear masks when not in action and there will only be three people on court – two competitors and a chair umpire – during a match.
The event will be an eight-man field contesting a total of 32 matches over four days on indoor clay at the Base Tennis Academy near the small town of Hoehr-Grenzhausen.
None of the players set to be involved are currently ranked in the top 100 and include singles world number 143 Yannick Hanfmann and Dustin Brown, ranked 239.
The content of the event will be broadcast by the Tennis Channel while scores will be streamed for betting through data company Sportradar.
Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou said on Saturday that his tennis academy in south of France will host a five-week tournament starting in May that will give players the chance to get back on court during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly; editing by Christian Radnedge