WTA players adjust to new normal in return to action in U.S.

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — The WTA Tour returned to action in the U.S. at the inaugural Top Seed Open for the first time since the coronavirus shutdown. The event featured a significantly subdued competitive atmosphere without spectators, and there were just a sprinkling of officials around center court. A smattering of claps replaced the usual loud applause on points, though players’ grunts on returns seemed more amplified with social distancing precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Players were at opposite ends of the court, of course, and the benches were spaced six feet away on either side of the umpire’s chair. Masks were prevalent as well. Top-seeded Serena Williams and sister Venus Williams begin play Tuesday.