Australian Open set to be moved amid fears players will not travel due to Covid restrictions – reports
Australian Open chiefs look set to make a bold move in a bid to save the 2021 edition of the tournament, with talks underway to move the event to March or April, according to reports in Australia.
With politicians in Melbourne refusing to compromise over their insistence that no players will be allowed into the state until January 1st and all will then have to quarantine for two weeks without the prospect of practising due to Covid-19 restrictions, the first Grand Slam of the New Year faced the prospect of being cancelled.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic is among those who have expressed doubts over how the event could proceed under those conditions, with players faced the prospect of spending two weeks in a hotel room before playing the event.
— 9News Melbourne (@9NewsMelb) November 21, 2020
Tennis Australia, the ATP and WTA had been planning on the proviso that most players would look to arrive in the country in mid-December to complete a mandatory two-week quarantine prior to competing in warm-up events for the first grand slam of 2021 in the first two weeks of January.
Tournament director Craig Tiley struck an upbeat note earlier this week when he announced that the warm-up events would all be held in Victoria to prevent issues with players travelling between states.
But Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews swiftly responded that it was not “a done deal” and on Tuesday night it was revealed that players are unlikely to be allowed into Australia until the end of December at the earliest.
A two-week quarantine would therefore leave less than a week until the planned start of the Australian Open on January 18.
It had been expected that players would be allowed to train during that fortnight but not compete in tournaments, but there was a feeling that most of the game’s big names would not be willing to play the event if the conditions were not changed.
That has sparked plans to move the Australian Open to later in the year when it is hoped vaccines may have been distributed to all players and spectators may be able to attend.
Moving the event now seems like the only option, with the tennis calendar for 2021 set to be adapted to accommodate an Australian Open that could be played in slightly cooler autumnal conditions.
A decision on moving the Australian Open is expected in the next two to three days.
Nick Kyrgios tells Piers Morgan ‘sometimes you are a bit of d***’ in interview teaser
It’s Nick Kyrgios v Piers Morgan in an interview that will no doubt deliver plenty of talking points.
Novak Djokovic fans not happy as world No 1 misses out on award nominations
Novak Djokovic is a notable absentee for the 2023 ATP Awards for sportsmanship.
Ronnie O’Sullivan compared to Roger Federer but snooker legend admires another tennis legend
O’Sullivan is a big tennis fan, but his favourite player is one of Roger Federer’s great rivals.
More big names confirmed for final big tennis event of the year as attendance boom continues
Keith Prowse are offering you a chance to play on court with the big name stars compete at the UTS Grand Final in London.
Former British No 1 predicts who could topple Novak Djokovic and highlights a rising British youngster
Djokovic remains the undisputed king of tennis, but a new rival could topple him.
Andy Murray’s £21m business empire – five of his key successes as Scot adds to social media portfolio
Andy Murray has confirmed his arrival on the business network LinkedIn.
Jannik Sinner described as a ‘shark’ as key to his matchup with Novak Djokovic is revealed
Jannik Sinner has been labelled a “shark”, while the key to his matchup with Novak Djokovic has been explained.
Taylor Fritz addresses ‘cocky’ allegations labelled against Holger Rune
“I like Holger,” says Taylor Fritz.
Carlos Alcaraz sends message to Novak Djokovic as he addresses Golden Slam prospect
Carlos Alcaraz has sent a warning to Novak Djokovic as he addressed the ‘Golden Slam’ talk.
Carlos Alcaraz reveals his biggest career goal and explains how he must improve in 2024
Carlos Alcaraz has divulged a goal that is “the biggest thing right now”