Australian Open Could Be Postponed

ATP Finals

Pakula, the sports minister, wouldn't comment on the players and their entourages' quarantine arrangements amid speculation the process may be shortened to only 10 days, other than to reaffirm that they would definitely be required to quarantine. "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.

"There's a number of potential dates on the table", Victorian Sports and Tourism Minister Martin Pakula told reporters in Melbourne. "I think that's still most likely, it's not the only option".

"I still think it's much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay".

The "very complex negotiations" were still under way but he remained confident it would go ahead in the early part of 2021.

Australian Open organisers said on Friday that nothing regarding the quarantine for players arriving in the country for the Grand Slam had been decided yet despite a report in local media that competitors would be able to train while in self-isolation.

"We'll have an Australian Open tennis tournament but (it'll) have to look different".

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.

'If players and support staff are confined to hotels or even just hotel rooms for a fortnight then majority will not travel at all, it just isn't going to happen, ' he said.

ATP Finals champion Daniil Medvedev says players health will be at risk if quarantine restrictions prevent them from playing or practising in the run-up to the Australian Open.

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.

"People need to bear in mind that there will be an extremely rigorous testing regime that will apply to the tennis players both before they leave the port that they're coming from and when they arrive, and I would imagine consistently during the time that they're in their bubble".

The reason, according to the Sidney Morning Herald, is the two-week quarantine that the Australian authorities, specifically those of the state of Victoria, where Melbourne, the venue of the event, is located, plan to impose on tennis players.

Speaking on Sunrise, on Wednesday, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews conceded the tournament will be pushed back, but hadn't settled on a date.



Other news