Australian Open 2021 'most likely' to be delayed?
First Published Nov 25, 2020, 7:26 PM IST
The 2021 edition of the Australian Open is all set to be the 109th edition of the prestigious Grand Slam. It would also be the opening Slam of the upcoming year. However, it is likely to be delayed owing to the restrictions put in place due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
The opening Grand Slam of the upcoming year, the Australian Open 2021, is most likely to be delayed. According to reports, negotiations are on with Tennis Australia (TA) and the Victorian government over health measures surrounding the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic, as the tournament is likely to be pushed back by a week.
According to a report by Reuters, Martin Pakula, Victorian Sports and Tourism Minister, is working on other dates for the tournament. However, the TA had dismissed the stories of the competition being postponed in any manner.
“I’ve seen reports that suggest that it’s likely to be delayed by a week or two. I think that’s still most likely. But, it’s not the only option. As you know, the French Open was delayed by many months and Wimbledon didn’t occur at all. I still think it’s much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay,” said Pakula.
“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. An extremely rigorous testing regime will apply to the players both before they leave the port that they come in from and when they arrive,” Pakula added.
Meanwhile, Dan Andrews, Premier of the state of Victora, celebrated the 25th day without any new COVID cases in the state. Furthermore, he expressed his confidence in the tournament going ahead as planned and scheduled.
“We’ll have an Australian Open tennis tournament ... but (it’ll) have to look different. The rest of the world is on fire so there will be quarantine for anyone coming to our city and state, there’s just no way around it. I think the timing will be close to the normal timing; those details are being finalised. As important as a tennis tournament is, we’re not going to jeopardise our coronavirus status by anything other than the highest standards,” Andrews reckoned.
In the meantime, AO tournament director, Craig Tiley, has said that he would be announcing the details of the new health measures, for the tournament, soon. Also, the TA is planning on moving the build-up tournaments, prior to the Slam, to various other cities of the nation.