Australian Open could move to February

03 Décembre, 2020, 04:25 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Australian Open pushed back to February 8 - Players can train in quarantine with negative Covid test

If Feb 8 is to be the first day of the Australian Open, then the players are to arrive between Jan 15 and 17 - although that will come forward by a week if a Feb 1 start is chosen.

At least it does now seem likely that next year's first grand slam will go ahead - something which had not always been guaranteed during the long weeks of back-and-forth between Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley and Victorian premier Daniel Andrews.

"A February 1 start date would not have allowed any matches [health authorities rules out matches in the bubble] and also would have been unfair to players who may get infected during quarantine-as it would've ruled them out of the AO", Tiley said in the player note, according to The Age.

If a player returns a negative test result on day one, they will be able to use tennis courts and gym facilities at Melbourne Park and Albert Reserve Tennis Centres for five hours each day.

"It's taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the Australian Open on February 8", Tiley said in the letter, which was emailed. Originally the participants wanted to travel for the Australian Open by mid-December to have time to compete in the warm-up tournaments.

There were fears the tournament would be cancelled as tennis officials and Victorian Government fought over quarantine issues.

He added: "Our team continues to work on delivering a fantastic - and safe - AO2021 for the players, the fans, our partners and our staff".

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While in quarantine, they will be allowed out of their hotel rooms for a maximum of five hours a day - time meant to be used for on-court practice, gym-work and treatment.

In 2020, the Australian Open was the only one of the four Grand Slams not to be impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

Earlier in the day Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was committed to hosting the tournament but the situation in Melbourne was very different to the US Open in NY or French Open in Paris.

"Only the Australian Open is a tennis tournament in a city where it can likely be assumed that those players will bring the virus here", Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

'So we are unique in that we've built something that no one else has built across the nation. and on that basis, we have to safeguard that, [and] I think we can'.

Players have become increasingly restless at being stuck in limbo for months while planning moves at a slow speed.

Tournament head Craig Tiley sent a note to players informing them the start date would be February 8.

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