Key Australian Open warm-up tournament relocated due to bushfire fears
The Apis Canberra International will be relocated to Bendigo because of the Australian bushfires.
The ongoing disaster has seen lives and homes lost and vast areas of land ravaged by fire, with no end yet in sight.
Australia is set to host the start of the new 2020 tennis season on Friday, as the inaugural ATP Cup gets under way in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane, with the Australian Open beginning on January 20.
Sydney, where Great Britain play their opening match against Bulgaria on Friday, is the closest ATP Cup venue to the fires and there have been concerns over air quality.
The Challenger event in Canberra, meanwhile, was set to begin on January 6, but a decision has been made to move it following consideration and consultation with the local authorities.
Tennis ACT chief executive Kim Kachel said: “The health of players, fans, volunteers, staff and stakeholders is our biggest priority at all times.
“Unfortunately, the best advice from the weather and fire experts is that the conditions over the next few days mean it is unlikely there would be any play. With conditions too unpredictable the decision was made to relocate at the earliest available opportunity.
“We want to thank the team at the Bendigo Tennis Association for helping us stage this event.”
Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley confirmed the governing body acted on the most up-to-date and accurate information available before taking the unprecedented decision to relocate.
“We know how important the tournament is for players preparing to play at the Australian Open and the decision to move the tournament from Canberra to Bendigo has been made to ensure they can still compete,” Tiley said in a statement.
“We will continue to monitor the situation across the country and ensure we have the most accurate information to make any decisions about play.
“Our thoughts are with all those communities affected by the devastation caused by bushfires across Australia and further announcements regarding fundraising opportunities will be made shortly.”
The 18 players to finish as ATP year-end No 1 as Novak Djokovic extends his amazing record
There have been 28 players who have reached the pinnacle of the ATP Rankings, with five currently active.
Carlos Alcaraz’s pre-season schedule: Key dates ahead of 2024 Australian Open revealed
Here are Carlos Alcaraz’s plans ahead of the 2024 Australian Open.
‘Style icon’ Jannik Sinner’s big sponsors – A $158m Nike deal, Gucci’s statement of intent and more
Which brands are sponsoring rising star and “style icon” Jannik Sinner?
‘Novak Djokovic has separated himself from everybody based on the eye test and numbers’
A coaching legend feels two factors make Novak Djokovic the GOAT and discussed the Serb’s hunger.
‘Vulnerable Rafael Nadal is not a contender to win a Grand Slam in comeback’, claims coaching great
A coaching legend does not expect Rafael Nadal to add to his Grand Slam tally.
Carlos Alcaraz makes admission about Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal fans supporting him against Novak Djokovic
Carlos Alcaraz has discussed receiving extra support when he faces Novak Djokovic.
Jessica Pegula on Serena Williams’ retirement opening up the field, Coco Gauff’s Gen Z humour and more
“With Serena being out, it’s different,” says Pegula as she also joked about Gauff being “very Gen Z”.
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.