Australian Open ‘almost certain’ to be delayed by up to three months
The Australian Open is reportedly set to be moved to March or April following negotiations between Tennis Australia and the Victorian government.
It has been revealed that the government’s reported decision to deny players entry before a two-week quarantine period from January 1 had caused problems for the tennis schedule.
The Australian Open is due to start on January 18, which would leave the players very little time to prepare before the action gets underway.
In an article published by the Herald Sun, Victoria premier Daniel Andrews said: “I am very confident we will have an Aussie Open in the early part of next year.
“The exact timing of it, the exact arrangements we put in place, they are not settled yet and as soon as they are settled, I will be more than happy to share it with you.”
However, a report from Australian tennis commentator Brett Phillips revealed that the tournament is likely to be delayed by up to three months.
“It’s chaos, it’s delicate discussions, it’s crazy,” Phillips said.
“It’s incredible times for TA. I’d hate to be a TA administrator or a sports administrator full stop in 2020. Next year, it’s not going to get back to normal for so many sports. There’s breaking news by the hour with the Australian Open.
“My strong feeling, just on the situation that’s happened in Victoria in the past seven or eight months and our Premier, who’s taken a fair bit of criticism for the whole hotel quarantine bungle, is that they’re taking a very cautious approach.
“I’ve just got a very strong feeling that the Australian Open is going to be pushed back possibly to March or April. This is certainly one of the scenarios that was on the table, it was talked about.
“There’s no doubt the Australian Open won’t happen on its scheduled date. It’s just a matter of whether they move it back a week or do they push it back to March, April.”
Tennis Australia, though, have dismissed the report, saying via a spokesperson: “It’s pure speculation.
“Earlier in the week we [said] how we continue to work closely with the Victorian government and we will update with more information as soon as possible, and there’s no update from that at the moment.”
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