Australian Open tournament director insists 2020 event won’t be moved away from Melbourne Park

Rod Laver Arena Melbourne Park Australian Open

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley says “heaven and earth will be moved” to ensure that Melbourne Park stages the 2020 season-opening Grand Slam.

Tennis is to resume in August following a five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus with two majors set to take place once the sport is up and running again.

The US Open will become the first Grand Slam to be staged without fans with Flushing Meadows hosting the hard-court major from August 31 to September 13 while the French Open will have “up to 60%” fans from September 20 to October 4.

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However, there remain major question marks over both tournaments due to the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the United States and the travel restrictions that players face.

Australia itself has had a surge in coronavirus cases with Victoria, in particular a concern, for authorities.

The New South Wales government has reportedly offered to stage the 2020 Australian Open, but their Victoria counterparts declined the offer and Tiley is also not interested.

“It hasn’t even crossed my mind,” he told The Age.

“Heaven and earth will be moved to make it work in Melbourne. I don’t see any scenario possible where the Australian Open would move.”

He added: “Melbourne Park itself is a massive quarantine opportunity for us.

“The whole network and the whole hub being put next to the city, you can actually create a bubble over Melbourne Park to make it extremely safe. It will be world-leading.”

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