One of only a few live sports to welcome fans
in North America amid the coronavirus outbreak, roaring crowds
were replaced with masked, socially distanced spectators at the
Greenbrier resort in West Virginia, where the entire three-week
WTT regular season will take place.
The Smash won 24-18 over the Rollers, while the Orlando Storm
took down returning champions Springfield Lasers with an overall
score of 21-18.
Standouts for the day included 28-year-old American Tennys
Sandgren, who fired off five of Orlando Storm's eight aces, with
his team winning 75% of their first-serve points.
On the Chicago team, 18-year-old Brandon Nakashima took down Sam
Querrey 5-3 in the men's singles, as teammates opted for elbow
bumps over high-fives.
"At the beginning I definitely was a little bit nervous,"
Nakashima said on the televised broadcast. "I just tried to stay
solid on the baseline on my end."
The event includes several safety measures designed to mitigate
the potential spread of coronavirus, including COVID-19 testing
for participants and regular temperature checks, with WTT
letting a maximum of 500 fans inside the 2,500-person stadium.
A Californian rivalry match between the Orange County Breakers
and San Diego Aviators was expected to kick off at 8 p.m. ET on
(Reporting By Amy Tennery; editing by Richard Pullin)
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