American star John Isner and friend Steve Johnson have appeared to flout virus protocols at the US Open after opting for a handshake at the net.
Isner took on his friend in the First Round of the US Open and prevailed 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3) in an absolute thriller.
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Both players were absolutely exhausted at the end of the match and emotions would have been running high after Isner knocked out his friend.
But Isner and Johnson appeared to hesitate when it came to the new social-distancing sportsmanship rule, which is to tap rackets, and instead opted to shake hands.
The move drew, whether following the US Open guidelines or not, drew the ire from fans with many saying it wasn’t a good look on TV during the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Johnson upsets No. 16 seed John Isner in an all-American epic 1st round: 6-7 (5), 6-3-, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (3). And though the good friends try the pandemic racket tap at the net, they eventually settle for a handshake pic.twitter.com/5fZHgkhEGA— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) September 1, 2020
If they are fining for breaking protocols, Isner and Johnson both deserve fines. That handshake at the net was completely intentional and it was televised.— eh!tp (@ehtp3) September 1, 2020
Are Johnson and Isner going to get a Unsportsmanlike Conduct for their handshake too? @usopen— Sara (@SaraelisGarvey) September 1, 2020
Steve Johnson beats John Isner in a 5th set tiebreak – his fifth straight win over his countryman.— Stephanie Myles (@OpenCourt) September 1, 2020
They accidentally did a little handshake at the end after tapping rackets. #oops
I’m glad to see Thiem’s entourage was fined for not wearing masks but what about Isner’s handshake last night?— Savannah (@SavannahsTennis) September 1, 2020
INTERESTING. So what about John Isner and Steve Johnson's handshake? That should be a violation as well, right?— Nicole Eclectic (@Nic_Leigh) September 1, 2020
Thiem fined for entourage breaking virus protocol
Many fans fumed over the incident because World No.3 Dominic Thiem was fined due to his entourage not wearing masks.
But so far, it appears Isner and Johnson have escaped punishment.
This is despite Thiem copping a fine for his entourage not wearing masks.
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) said Thiem’s entourage violated the rule requiring universal masking, with the player fined $1500.
Fans were quick to condemn Thiem over the latest virus controversy, insisting that he should have learnt his lesson after the Adria Tour debacle.