Australian Open organizers are scrambling to finalize plans for the arrival of the players next week in Melbourne. When Tennis Australia declared last month that the tournament would start Feb. 8, with players coming from Jan. 15 before having to complete a two-week quarantine, the hard work seemed to be done.
It was decided that the players and their support staff would be permitted to stay at the Westin Hotel in central Melbourne and practice during the quarantine every day, but the agreement has now been broken down after some hotel penthouse owners objected to the plan, alleging that they were not consulted. The #AusOpen 2021 update on quarantine hotels. Pic.twitter.com/QhVJ3xzDEu-#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 5, 2021Organizers moved quickly to find a replacement, with a statement Tuesday stating, “The AO team has been working closely with COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria on suitable quarantine hotel options in Melbourne. ” “Another issue is players’ travel to Australia, as the tournament has chartered flights from the Middle East and the US that have not yet been finalized, as tournament director Craig Tiley wrote on Twitter. “There have been some inevitable delays for players finalizing flight information, and I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update. -Craig Tiley (@CraigTiley) January 5, 2021 “There are many pieces to this logistical puzzle and the final ones are being finalized. “We will have up to 18 aircraft and each will be limited to 20 percent capacity to ensure that flights are as secure for everybody as possible. We appreciate your patience and know that the time frame is very tight. We are trying our best to get the flight information as soon as possible to the entire player group. Thank you, we’re going to get everyone to Melbourne for your patience. “We appreciate your patience and realize that the time frame is very tight. We are doing our best to get the flight information out to the entire player group as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience, we will get everyone to Melbourne. “