Aussie Open awaits nod for quarantine training

MELBOURNE • Australian Open organisers said yesterday 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.

The Age newspaper reported that the men's governing body ATP has told the players that they would be allowed to train during their 14-day quarantine period ahead of the Australian Open.

A Tennis Australia (TA) spokesman told Reuters the organisers are still waiting for approvals from the Victoria state government for details on the year's first Grand Slam, including those relating to practice during quarantine.

Organisers have been in lengthy discussions with authorities over the Covid-19 protocols to be established for those arriving in Australia ahead of the Grand Slam, slated to be held from Jan 18-31.

State officials on Wednesday confirmed the Melbourne Park tournament would go ahead, though it would likely take place a week or two after the scheduled start date and that players would have to undergo quarantine.

Men's world No. 1 Novak Djokovic recently called on authorities to ensure players are allowed to train during quarantine, while Russia's Daniil Medvedev said it would be "dangerous" to be confined to a hotel room for two weeks and then go straight into a Grand Slam.

Melbourne yesterday completed 28 days since the last reported locally acquired case of coronavirus infection.

Due to border restrictions between states and varied quarantine requirements by local governments in Australia, TA plans to shift all build-up tournaments for the Grand Slam to Victoria.

The report from The Age also said the ATP Cup, the 24-nation men's event which made its debut this year in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney as a Grand Slam tune-up, would be cancelled next year but other ATP and WTA lead-up events would go ahead.

ATP had no comment on the report but the governing body is expected to release the 2021 calendar early next month. TA said a decision on the ATP Cup was yet to be taken and organisers would only be able to finalise the lead-up tournaments to the Australian Open once dates and quarantine details are finalised.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2020, with the headline 'Aussie Open awaits nod for quarantine training'. Subscribe