MELBOURNE, Australia — A funny thing happened at the end of plenty of matches at the Australian Open this year: Players gathered their used water bottles and their sweat-soaked towels and put them in garbage and laundry bags rather than leaving them for someone else to clean up and, in the process, come into contact with their germs.
Cleanliness has truly been a virtue at this tournament. Workers scour the grounds looking for recently vacated tables to scrub. The moderator of news conferences cleans the dais with a disinfecting wipe as soon as a player leaves it. Bathrooms are seemingly in a constant state of scrubbing.
Studies have shown that the coronavirus does not easily spread from unclean surfaces. People have to breathe in the tiny virus particles. But a clean tournament helps make all the people who come to Melbourne Park feel that they are in a healthful atmosphere. Perhaps cleaner sporting events will be a legacy of Covid-19 that stays with us, but it does not come easy. It takes work.