Melbourne, Nov 16 (IANS) Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has stated that plans for the state to host the entire summer of tennis, including the warm-up events for the Australian Open 2021, are far from a done deal.
On Monday, News Corp reported that showpiece tournaments — usually staged in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra and Hobart — would be played in Victoria next year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The notion that this is all a done deal, and there’s going to be all these tennis players turn up now, that’s not that is not settled, not settled at all,” Andrews was quoted as saying by The Age.
“We’ve got to work through those things in a methodical way. It’s an important event. Absolutely. But avoiding a third wave is arguably even more important, but we’ll keep working through those issues. I think we can have the event go ahead, but it’s going to have to look different,” he added.
In the News Corp report, Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said international players would travel directly to Melbourne to quarantine in a “bubble” for two weeks, rather than multiple Australian cities.
Brisbane Tennis, the Twitter account for the ATP Cup and WTA Brisbane International tournaments, then on Monday stated that the events would be shifting to Victoria. “All lead-in events to the Australian Open will be held in Victoria to ensure all players can safely compete in, and prepare for, the grand slam. See you in 2022!” the tweet read.
Hobart International also released a statement saying it had “been decided that the Australian summer of tennis will be played in Victoria in 2021”.
However, Andrews said that while there was a “preference to have it located in one place”, the public health team needed to sign off on all the arrangements.
The measure flagged by Tennis Australia could see up to 550 players and their entourages flying into Melbourne from mid-December, where they would be allowed to play and train but be restricted to hotels or the tennis court until they had completed two weeks of quarantine amid the pandemic.