VIDEO SHOWS: NEWS CONFERENCE AHEAD OF THE BETT1ACES TENNIS TOURNAMENT IN BERLIN, WHICH WILL BE THE FIRST SPORTS EVENT IN GERMANY TO ALLOW FANS SINCE START OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC
RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT
SHOWS: BERLIN, GERMANY (JULY 11, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
1. FORMER WORLD NUMBER 2 TONY HAAS AND JULIA GOERGES ENTERING NEWS CONFERENCE
3. (SOUNDBITE) (German) BITT1ACES ORGANISER, EDWIN WEINDORFER, SAYING:
"That means we are well positioned, we have done everything in our hands to meet the requirements so that we can have a safe tournament. A few weeks ago, we decided in favour of having spectators take part in the event after a change in the law for sports facilities."
4. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
6. (SOUNDBITE) (German) WORLD NUMBER 38, JULIA GOERGES, SAYING:
"Spectators are very important, I think. They bring emotions and the atmosphere you need. And for us, the fact that 800 people will be able to take part is something that makes us very happy. For me it is really important, as well as offering the viewers something as well so that they can attend sports events again. It will obviously be a bit smaller than usual, but I think it is a step in the right direction."
8. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FORMER WORLD NUMBER TWO, TONY HAAS, SAYING:
"I never liked to play without spectators. In the past, I would rather have cancelled and waited until it was possible to play in a bigger stadium. As a player, it would always have been better to feel the emotion coming from the spectators, but of course, in this situation it is better to have 800 people than to have none. I see it as a step forward and hopefully that means we are on our way to the new normality. But the new normality, that is something we will find out about in the next months."
9. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
10. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BITT1ACES ORGANISER, EDWIN WEINDORFER, SAYING:
"Zero tolerance is not for Sasha Zverev, it is for every player and every person involved in this tournament. What I mean with 'zero tolerance' is that we have regulations, specific regulations for health, for safety and the players, and also the staff, the coaches, the family members need to apply to those regulations. And this is all I said. And I said we also have other players on the sidelines in case something happens because we will not be on the safe side, and I think that is fair and everyone understands that."
11. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BITT1ACES ORGANISER, EDWIN WEINDORFER, SAYING:
"And we want to do this in a very responsible way and we are in contact with the ATP, the WTA, even the All England Tennis Club, who is also a partner of ours with the grass court tournament that we also organise, and we also update them with our findings after this tournament. Because there will be findings. There will be things that work well and there will be things that maybe didn't work so well. But we will update them and I also said to those federations that if they want to have our hygiene concept that we will definitely forward it to them and we will share our experience with whoever in the tennis business wants those informations."
13. VARIOUS OF JOURNALIST TYPING
14. (SOUNDBITE) (German) FORMER WORLD NUMBER TWO, TONY HAAS, SAYING:
"I don't want to talk on behalf of Sasha (Alexander Zverev). I think it is sad that he isn't here, I think many of us think that way. It is always sad to confirm and event and then have to cancel it. He is also a leading player here in Germany and we would have loved to have him here with no doubt. But he has a new coach and maybe they want to talk about the coming tournaments and plan them, I don't know. It probably also has to do with the latest events that we have all seen like the Adria tour."
15. DISTANCING RULES OUTSIDE NEWS CONFERENCE ROOM
16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER 38, JULIA GOERGES, SAYING:
"I think overall everyone did an exceptional job and playing first of all in the stadium. And, as we can see now, there has been made a lot of safety precautions where I definitely feel safe and it is a bit unique and a bit strange when you come from the usual tour and then you come here and it is a bit of a bubble, but I think that is overall what we are in right now, and if you want to compete, if you want to play and have good matches, that is what you have to accept. And I accept that, starting on Monday."
17. NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS
18. VARIOUS OF HAAS AND GOERGES POSING WITH TENNIS RACKETS
STORY: German tennis player Julia Goerges said on on Saturday (July 11) spectators "bring the emotions and the atmosphere" to the game as she promoted the upcoming Berlin's bett1ACES tennis exhibition, the first sports event in Germany to allow fans in after the coronavirus pandemic.
Berlin's health authorities have approved a limited number of people for the event, as well as for another tournament a few days later.
The maximum number of fans in attendance will be 800 a day for the July 13-15 outdoor event on grass.
At another tournament to be played on a hard court in a hangar at Tempelhof airport from July 17-19, authorities will allow 200 spectators per day.
In a joint news conference, former world number two Tommy Haas agreed with Goerges and the tournament organiser Edwin Weindorfer and said the move was a step in the right direction.
Asked about German top player Alexander Zverev, who was recently seen with numerous players dancing together at a nightclub including Novak Djokovic, Haas said he was sad that the 23-year-old would not be taking part in the Berlin tournament.
Organisers warned in the past weeks that players would be excluded from competing should they break COVID-19 hygiene rules after Djokovic, his wife Jelena, three other players, three coaches and one player's pregnant wife tested positive for the virus after the Adria tour, which was initially meant to ease tennis out of lockdown.
(Production: Oliver Barth, Nikolai Tomas, Ulrike Heil and Elena Gyldenkerne)