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Players: US Open Must Enforce Safety Protocol

The US Open must create a strict safety bubble—and enforce it with stiff penalties against violators, say some players.

Pointing to the fact some NBA players have broken the league's safety bubble in Orlando, Florida, former world No. 1 Andy Murray says it's foolish to think everyone will obey the US Open's proposed safety protocol.

More: Ostapenko Opts Out of US Open

Murray believes most players will follow safety guidelines, but says violators should face serious repercussions because they are putting the health and safety of fellow players and the entire tournament at risk.

"I think the majority of players will [observe safety rules] but it would be silly to expect nobody would break the rules and the protocols," Murray told the British media. "‘In the NBA for example, which I think will be a similarish set-up for us, players have broken it so we should be preparing for that and that is where it is really important, I think, the repercussions should be quite serious because you end up putting the whole tour and event at risk.

"The USTA is going through a huge effort to try to get this on and make it as safe as possible so if players aren’t abiding by the rules the repercussions should be severe."

Donna Vekic, who won her match as the WTA Tour resumed in Palermo yesterday, said she hopes the safety bubble in New York will be much tighter than the bubble in Palermo, which she called "not [a bubble] at all.

“I have a feeling that in New York it will be a real bubble. Here [in Palermo] they talk about us being in a bubble but it’s not at all,” Vekic told French publication L'Equipe. “I don’t want to pretend that I’m locked in the room the whole day when I’m not. I went to dinner in the city. For sure we’re being careful and not being close to people but I’m not locked in the room and 90 percent of the players aren’t.

“I hope in New York there will actually be fines and if everyone respects that and it makes sense then I’m all for it, but if the rules are contradicting each other, then it makes no sense.”

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve