Australian Open decision 'soon' says tournament chief

Paola Ditto
Novembre 22, 2020

The Australian Open is scheduled to begin at Melbourne Park on January 18.

Tennis Australia (TA), however, said earlier this week they had planned for players and their entourages to start arriving Down Under in mid-December, spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine and then begin playing in early January.

Reports have emerged that the Australian Open could be pushed back as late as March or even April.

It also remains unclear whether players will be allowed to train during quarantine.

In a statement Tiley said Tennis Australia is doing everything we can to finalize the summer of tennis as soon as possible.

The Herald Sun newspaper reported the year's first Grand Slam risked being deferred even as the organisers discuss quarantine arrangements with the Victoria state government.

'We are continuing our urgent talks with local health authorities regarding quarantining and bio-security requirements and are confident we will have decisions soon'.

'Our intention is to deliver a summer in conditions that allow the players to prepare and perform at their best and the fans to enjoy their efforts - all in an environment that is safe for all concerned, ' he said.

"Tennis Australia is acutely aware of the need for certainty, but also conscious of reaching a solution with the state government that ensures the safety of the entire community", said Tiley.

'We look forward to announcing our ticket on-sale date as soon as all arrangements with the relevant authorities are finalised and we have more information on crowd sizes, ' he said. We anticipate this on-sale date will be within the next two weeks, he said.

"Strange is probably the right word to describe the season, but nevertheless I still feel like we played a lot of tournaments considering we had a six-months gap in the middle of the season", he added. The government's previous reluctance to allow players to arrive before January 1 had been a stumbling block to confirming tournament dates.

But Tennis Australia said those reports were merely "speculation".

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