Tennis Article

Australian Open Could be Delayed

Australian Open Could be Delayed Photo: TT
Australian Open Could be Delayed

The first Grand Slam of 2021, the Australian Open, could be delayed.

It is due to begin in Melbourne on January 18th, but now there are suggestions that it could be pushed back to February 1st, or even early March.

Australia still requires all visitors entering the country to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine period, and, with that in mind, organisers of the tournament were hoping that players could begin arriving in mid-December.

That would give them enough time to complete their quarantine and to participate in warm-up tournaments ahead of the major.

However, that plan was not universally popular with the players, many of whom did not want to spend Christmas away from their families, stuck in a hotel by themselves on the other side of the world.

And now it has been dealt a more serious blow after the Premier of the State of Victoria in which Melbourne is situated Dan Andrews, indicated that he only wanted players to begin arriving in early January.

Andrews is concerned because Melbourne has only just come out of four months lockdown and is worried about the risk of new transmissions from a sudden influx of visitors, many of whom will be coming from countries where Covid-19 infection rates are much higher than in Australia.

If they are not able to arrive in Australia until the, then it will be impossible for many of them to prepare in time for the tournament, especially if they are not allowed to train whilst they are in quarantine.

The ATP Cup, which is due to begin the week of January 4th across three cities Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney is now also in jeopardy.

Moving the Australian Open is not just a simple matter of rearranging the dates. It would also have a knock-on event on other tournaments which are due to be played in the same timeframe, including the Rotterdam and Dubai Open, the South American clay court swing, and. potentially the first Masters event of the year at Indian Wells.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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