Australian Open 'most likely' to be delayed

27 Novembre, 2020, 05:12 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Andy Murray backs compulsory vaccination as Australian Open'likely to be delayed by up to two weeks

"I still think it's much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay. I think that's still most likely", Pakula said after negotiations between tennis officials and various levels of government came to a close on Wednesday.

The grand slam is scheduled to take place in Melbourne from January 18 to 31. "But it's not the only option".

The government of Victoria and Tennis Australia still have to finalize arrangements for players and teams to enter the country. "As you know, the French Open was delayed by many months and Wimbledon didn't occur at all", he said outside the Victorian Parliament.

The "very complex negotiations" are still under way but he remained confident the event would go ahead in the early part of next year, which would be preferable to suggestions in the Herald Sun's report it may be moved to March.

In mid-November, Tennis Australian announced that the entire summer of tennis will be played in Victoria as the game adapts to new realities under COVID-19.

Medvedev said it would be "dangerous" for players to be confined to a hotel room for two weeks after arriving in Australia and then going straight into a Grand Slam. But it no longer has any active cases and its last deaths from the virus in the state were on October 28.

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Also under discussion is whether players will be able to train or compete during quarantine.

Players and their support staff at the U.S. and French Opens were not required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival but the Victoria government will not make any exception, even for elite athletes.

"It's fair to say that Tennis Australia and the playing group have been encouraged to keep the total number of people coming in, not necessarily to a minimum, but to a lower number than would otherwise be the case".

"The quarantine requirements will be those that are ultimately agreed with the public health (authorities) and then it will be a matter for the ATP and the WTA about whether or not they are acceptable", he added.

Officials conducted some 10,000 coronavirus tests before and during the successfully-staged US Open in NY in September, with Frenchman Benoit Paire the only player to return a positive to COVID-19.

He also said that players will also go through a thorough testing regime when they arrive and also while they are in the biosecure bubble. But doubt was cast over the lead-up events when Victoria's state Premier Dan Andrews said negotiations on those tournaments and player quarantines were far from a done deal.

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