2021 Australian Open set for 8 February start with players allowed to train during quarantine – reports
The 2021 Australian Open will start two weeks later than initially planned with reports claiming organisers and government officials have finally agreed on players’ arrival dates and quarantine regulations.
Next year’s hard-court Grand Slam at Melbourne Park was originally scheduled to run from 18-31 January, but the coronavirus pandemic has led to major headaches for all involved.
The Victorian Government will only allow players to arrive in the state after 1 January and insists on a 14-day quarantine period, which would have left players short of match practice if the tournament does start on 18 January.
It would also have led to the cancellation of most of the warm-up events.
However, those fears have been allayed with Australia’s The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald papers revealing Tennis Australia CEO and tournament director Craig Tiley has informed players that the tournament will now run from 8-21 February “with players subject to guidelines” from the health and human services department in Victoria, and you can read more on various websites.
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“It’s taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the AO on Feb. 8,” Tiley is quoted as saying.
“Players will have to quarantine for two weeks from 15 January, but the Victorian Government has agreed to special conditions for AO participants – agreeing that they need to be able to prepare for a Grand Slam.
“There will be strict conditions, but after quarantine, players are free to stay where they want, go where they want, play lead-in matches and then compete in an AO in front of significant crowds in a great Melbourne atmosphere for the first time in many months.”
The reports add players “will be tested for COVID-19 on days one, three, seven, 10 and 14. If a player returns a negative test result on day one, they will be able to use tennis courts and gym facilities at Melbourne Park and Albert Reserve Tennis Centres for five hours each day”.
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