After the Victorian state government threw a big wrench into the works, Australian Open organizers are desperately trying to find a suitable solution to staging the tournament. Tennis Australia, the ATP and the WTA arranged for most players to arrive in the country in mid-December to complete a two-week quarantine before taking part in warm-up events in the first two weeks of January.
Earlier this week, Tournament Director Craig Tiley struck an optimistic note when he revealed that the warm-up events will all take place in Victoria to prevent conflicts with players moving between states. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has previously said that nothing is off the table as far as the schedule is concerned (John Walton/PA) But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews replied quickly that it was not “a done deal” and it was announced on Tuesday night that players will possibly not be permitted to join Australia at the earliest until late December. So a two-week quarantine will leave less than a week before the start of the Australian Open on Jan. 18 is scheduled. And with both costly and hard to find flights to Australia, it is likely to be a real challenge to simply bring players into the country. Tiley has previously said that nothing is off the table in terms of the schedule, increasing the possibility that the Australian Open might be moved back a week or two, but that would be a big logistical undertaking so close to the case. November 11, 2020 #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/j9cPNhbxxb- Channel9 (@Channel9) In the meantime, what players will be allowed to do during their quarantine period remains uncertain. Tennis Australia continues to work closely with the Victorian Government to host the Australian Open if they are permitted to play tournaments within a strict bubble, which has been the case since tours resumed in August, which will make the situation more manageable. A statement from organizers said, “Tennis Australia continues to work closely with the Victorian Government to host the Australian Open. ” “We will provide further updates as they become available. “This is the first day since early March that we’ve reported two zero days. This is your Victoria. Let’s keep going.- Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) October 26, 2020 With the players, Tiley is famous, and while there is discontent with the situation, they are sympathetic to both the organizers’ problems and the Australian government’s caution. World number seven Alexander Zverev said, “I hope we can find a way to play a week or two before the Australian Open, but in general I hope the Australian Open happens because everything is so uncertain at the moment. I think they are trying their best. I think the Australian government is very careful. If suddenly 3,000 people come to Australia, there will be cases, it can’t be avoided. ” Victoria was Australia’s worst-affected state, but there have been 19 days without new cases and officials are understandably worried about the effects of the entry of hundreds of tennis players and related workers from around the world. Andrews said to reporters Wednesday, “This is incredibly complex. We’re confident we’re going to get the Australian Open done, it’s a very important event, but there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure it’s as safe as possible. ” “In discussions with Tennis Australia over the last 24 hours, we have been informed that there are some new challenges around the previously scheduled arrival dates for players and team members. “We have been informed in discussions with Tennis Australia over the last 24 hours that there are some new challenges around the previously