‘Worst case scenario is that is doesn’t happen’ – Craig Tiley admits Australian Open coronavirus fears

Rod Laver Arena Melbourne Park Australian Open

There are genuine fears that the 2021 Australian Open will not be able to go ahead at all due to the coronavirus crisis, chief Craig Tiley has admitted.

The coronavirus pandemic has ground international sport to a halt, and has already seen Wimbledon forced to cancel this year for the first time since the second world war.

The French Open has rescheduled, and the US Open are yet to reveal their plans, but it’s looking increasingly likely that they, along with the rest of the 2020 tennis calendar, will fall victim to the outbreak.

The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of the year and currently scheduled for January 2021, but there is an increasing fear that even it may come too soon to survive the cancellations.

“Worst case scenario is no AO (Australian Open),” Tiley admitted.

“Our best case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans.

“There’s four scenarios and we’ve modelled everything. We’ve modelled the times we have to make decisions, dates we have to make decisions, who it impacts, how it’s going to impact them.

“We’ve done that for 670 staff. We’ve done that for all of our partners – our media partners, our sponsors and for all the governments and places we rent facilities (from).

“And now we’re working on the international playing group and getting them to understand what each of those scenarios are and what it means for them and how we can action it.”

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