Australian Open will stay in Melbourne for 2022, says tournament chief
Australian Open chief Craig Tiley has refuted rumours that the 2022 tournament could be moved overseas due to player issues with quarantine.
A report published on Monday suggested that, with border closures set to continue into 2022, players were unhappy with having to go into hard quarantine in order to compete in Australia as they did this year.
As a result, rumours circulated that players may voice their support in moving the tournament away from Melbourne to Doha or Dubai, where quarantine measures are more relaxed.
However Tiley, while aware of the challenges organisers face in navigating quarantine issues, is confident the Australian Open will be staged in Melbourne as usual.
“We’re going to be here in Melbourne, we are going to make it work, it’s going to be in January,” said Tiley at a SportNXT launch on Monday morning.
“We’re going to find a way to get the players here who are currently travelling the world in a bubble.
“We are the only country where quarantine is required. We’ve got a find a way to manage that and we will.”
The Australian Open boss said all the experiences gained from staging this year’s event, which was forced back two weeks and played without spectators for large parts, would only help in organising the event next year.
“I learned a lot every single day about managing uncertainty,” he said.
“The two enemies, mass gatherings and international travel, Covid-19 doesn’t allow those two things to happen, and those are the pillars of our success. Being able to get around that was a challenge.
“There’s lots of speculation about 2022, and it’s same journey we are going to go on. It’s going to be a ride.
“We felt like we climbed Mount Everest, and unfortunately now we’ve found ourselves back at base camp.
“But the one positive thing is that we at least have a path because we have done it once.”
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