ANDY MURRAY and Jo Konta may have to sign US Open legal waivers so they don’t sue tennis bosses if they or family members die from Covid-19.
A leaked copy of the waiver from the USTA – organisers of this month’s hard-court Grand Slam – appeared on social media last night.
It is understood the form is being sent out to those who want to play behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows.
Essentially it absolves the US Open chiefs from any coronavirus litigation if there are any positive tests from inside the New York tournament ‘bubble’.
In the letter, the text asks players to accept they are “fully aware of the risks involved” and are “entering into this waiver knowingly and on my own behalf”.
It adds: “I acknowledge that the risks involved with entering the facilities and being in the presence of other people during the Covid-19 pandemic include but are not limited to, contracting Covid-19, respiratory failure, death and transmitting Covid-19 to family or household members and others who may also suffer these effects.
“I further understand that compliance with the Covid-19 protocols will not eliminate these risks with social distancing and other safety measures in place.
“I voluntarily assume full responsibility for any risks of loss or personal injury, including serious illness, injury or death, that may be sustained by me or by others who come into contact with me, as a result of my presence in the facilities, whether caused by the negligence of the NTC or otherwise.
With any liability form, it’s always going to be very dark and very sombre.
“I release, waive, forever discharge and covenant not to sue the NTC, USTA, ATP Tour, WTA Tour…whatsoever arising out of or related to any loss, damage, illness, or injury, including death, that may be sustained by me or by others who come into contact with me.”
The letter drew anger from Dutch star Wesley Koolhoff, who joked: “I should start reading more waivers from now on.”
Sandra Zaniewska, the Polish tennis coach of Frenchwoman Alize Cornet, said: “Is the USTA going to do anything about this inappropriate waiver?”
Konta plays her first competitive match since lockdown against Czech Marie Bouzkova in the first round of the Lexington Open today.
Asked about potential waivers to return to tennis, she said: “With any liability form or anything that gets to that kind of realm, it’s always going to be very dark and very sombre.
“That’s the content of the material.
“In terms of the practical side of it whenever we go to a tournament, even before this situation we were already in charge of our own wellbeing.
“When we step out on court, it’s our body we are putting the line there anyway.
“Every decision we made when we play, how much we play, it’s going to have a direct effect on how our body holds up.
“For everyone involved in the organisation of these events the No1 priority is to keep everyone safe.”