Australian Open drawing up coronavirus contingency plans as fears grow over length of global lockdown
The Australian Open is looking at the possibility of pushing its dates back in 2021 for fears of the coronavirus crisis writing off the 2020 season.
Wimbledon are expected to cancel this week, leaving the US Open and the rescheduled French Open hoping for a resolution to the coronavirus outbreak by September.
Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley, though, says the outlook is so bleak that even the Australian Open, scheduled for January 2021, are drawing up contingency plans.
“We’re looking at that [the viability of the pushing the Australian pen back if necessary] right now,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“But we’re planning running the AO 2021 and planning on having a great season.
“We’ve got to plan for the worst and hope for the best. Tomorrow morning we [could] wake up and there is some miracle cure or some concoction of drugs that really helps, or they’re on a path to a vaccine.
“[But] from all the literature you read, it doesn’t seem likely in the immediate future.
“What I want to do as an organisation [is] I want to plan for it being really difficult for people to be travelling this year from country to country.
“I think within the country will be fine. [When] you can travel globally is when tennis can come back, from a pro level.
“From a local level, we can start right away and that’s what we would be focused on at the beginning.”
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