The 2021 season is already tomorrow. The Australian tennis federation said Monday that the preparation tournaments for the next Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year, would be relocated near Melbourne because of the coronavirus pandemic, an announcement quickly denied by the authorities of the ‘State of Victoria who argue that nothing is done in this direction. This project foresees that the tournaments scheduled in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart, Adelaide and Canberra will be held in the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, before the start of the Australian Open (January 18 to 31).
Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley explained the move on the grounds that Australian state governments could not guarantee that foreign players participating in the warm-up tournaments would be free to travel to Melbourne in January. “There will be no risk of the Australian Open starting without everyone in Victoria, and we weren’t sure before.“, he told the Herald Sun, un journal de Melbourne.
Tournament officials in Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart have all issued statements regretting that they cannot host these events, hoping they will be held normally in 2022. But Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews has said nothing is wrong. was “made“, recalling that Melbourne, the heart of the second epidemic wave in Australia, had just emerged from long months of confinement.
“It’s a huge event, an event we all adore, but which comes as the world is in crisis.“, he told reporters in reference to the Australian summer series of major tennis tournaments.”This is an important event, of course, but you might think that avoiding a third wave is even more important.“, he added. The project would be that more than 500 foreign players disembark in Victoria and begin quarantine in hotels where they would have access to tennis courts.
Melbourne Park 25% full?
Once they finished their quarantine and tested twice negative for Covid-19, they would be free to move around Victoria. But Daniel Andrews observed that this project involved a huge logistical organization with complex arrangements in terms of housing. “The idea that everything is set, that things are done, is simply wrong“, he said.
The Australian federation seems to have spoken prematurely, Craig Tiley even saying that he expects the Victoria government to allow the public presence at the Australian Open, but at 25% of the capacity of Melbourne Park. The country’s second-largest city emerged from months of lockdown last month due to a second epidemic wave. Melbourne has not registered any new cases of Covid-19 since October 29.