American tennis player Danielle Collins was dismissed from the World TeamTennis event in the US after she defied coronavirus protocols.
The WTT tournament is being hosted across three weeks at the Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, and is one of the only sports events in the US currently allowing fans to attend.
Collins, the 2019 Australian Open finalist, had been competing for her team Orlando Storm, but on Tuesday tournament organisers confirmed she had been asked to leave due to travelling outside of the tournament bubble — and even leaving the state.
“We have dismissed Danielle Collins… for the remainder of the 2020 World TeamTennis season after breaking our Covid-19 protocols and leaving The Greenbrier Resort and the state of West Virginia,” WTT chief executive Carlos Silva said in a statement. “The protocols have been put in place and communicated numerous times to protect the health and safety of our players, coaches and staff which are of utmost importance to WTT.”
The news comes a month after Collins criticised Novak Djokovic, the men’s world No 1, for saying it would be “impossible” to play this year’s US Open under safety protocols proposed by organisers.
“It’s easy when someone’s made $150 million throughout their career to try and tell people what to do with their money, and then turn down playing in the US Open,” Collins, 26, posted on Instagram. “For those of us (most tennis players) who don’t travel with an entourage, we actually need to start working again. It would be nice to have the best player in the world supporting this opportunity and not spoiling it for the players and the fans!”
Former grand slam champions Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Kim Clijsters are among the line-up at the mixed-gender team event.
The 2,500-seater stadium is also playing host to 500 fans at a time, unlike current plans for the US Open, which is set to begin next month without spectators.