‘The 2020 Australian Open is happening,’ insists tournament chief
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has once again allayed fears that this year’s tournament could be cancelled due to poor air quality following the bushfires Down Under.
Organisers of the first Grand Slam of the year have come in for heavy criticism this week after several players taking part in qualifying claimed they struggled to breathe because of the smoke from the fires.
Dalila Jakupovic from Slovenia suffered a coughing fit during her qualifier and was forced to retire, saying “I was really scared that I would collapse. That’s why I went onto the floor because I couldn’t walk anymore”.
Eugenie Bouchard from Canada as well as Liam Broady from Great Britain also voiced their unhappiness with the latter saying it “boiled his blood” that he was forced to play in those conditions.
There have been suggestions that the tournament could be rescheduled, but Tiley says that is not the case.
“There is a lot of speculation about the Australian Open not happening or starting later. The Australian Open is happening,” he said.
He added: “We’ve said all along, and I’ll repeat it again, their [the players’] safety, their well-being, their health, is of priority to us, as it is with our staff and our fans,” he added.
“We’ve done the best we can in communicating with the tours. One thing I can say is this is about trusting the medical advice and the scientific advice.
“We care deeply about the players. I met with Dalila the same day, we’re going to have a follow-up catch-up and just reiterate if there’s anything we can do and making sure she’s seeing the medical team and making sure she’s being taken care of.
“Absolutely we understand the anger. A lot of it comes in the confusion and the complexity of understanding what goes on. We’ve invited the players to come in at any time and have a conversation.”
Jannik Sinner sets out to bag Sofia Open hat-trick
Can Jannik Sinner win the title in Sofia for the third time in a row?
Wimbledon ban proves a blessing for Liudmila Samsonova
Liudmila Samsonova says missing Wimbledon allowed her to work on her game and she is now reaping the benefits.
Roger Federer disappointed by Laver Cup farewell defeat
Team World won the Ryder Cup-style team competition 13-8 at the O2.
Moving on from Roger Federer – what comes next for men’s tennis
Federer has called it a day but what comes next for tennis.
Roger Federer backed as future captain of Team Europe at Laver Cup
Bjorn Borg confirmed he will step down from the role after the 2023 edition in Vancouver.
Andy Murray pondering his own retirement question after week of reflection
We now wait to see which member of the fable ‘Big Four’ will join Federer in retirement and Murray might well be next.
ATP Rankings: Lorenzo Sonego returns to top 50 with Metz win
Lorenzo Sonego will jump 20 places to be ranked as the World No 45 next week after he beat Alexander Bublik on Sunday.
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime lead Team World to Laver Cup win
Frances Tiafoe and Felix Auger-Aliassime scored big victories on Sunday to save John McEnroe’s bacon.
Felix Auger-Aliassime puts Team World on the brink of Laver Cup history
Felix Auger-Aliassime had a Sunday to remember at the Laver Cup