Coronavirus: Tennis Australia preparing for 2021 Australian Open

By Sports Desk May 09, 2020

Tennis Australia (TA) chief executive and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said preparations are underway for next year's grand slam to be held in Melbourne amid coronavirus concerns.

During the week, Tiley conceded the 2021 Australian Open could be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has wreaked havoc globally.

Both the ATP and WTA Tours are suspended until at least mid-July as a result of the coronavirus crisis – Wimbledon has already been cancelled for 2020, while the French Open has been pushed back to September amid uncertainty over the Roland Garros and US Open events.

Speaking on Sunday, Tiley said the tournament has drafted contingency plans, though he is confident the Australian Open will be in a "positive position" come January.

"It's very uncertain times as we all know well. We are preparing for multiple futures. We don't know what January will bring," Tiley told Channel Nine's Wide World of Sports.

"At this point today, we are preparing for an Australian Open, with finding a way to get our 500 internationals into Australia. At the same time, hopefully we have fans. Likely, at least it will be Australia-New Zealand fans in the first instance.

"Seven months is a long time away but we are planning for an Australian Open. We also have to plan for the scenario of players only and no crowds, and also the possibility of moving it or not having it at all."  

"We are planning an Australian Open with all the players and with Australian, and likely, New Zealand crowds as a starting point," he added. "We'll have some guidelines for social distancing."

There have been more than four million confirmed cases across the world, with over 280,400 deaths.

In Australia, 97 people have succumbed to the virus as the country starts to relax lockdown measures.

Related items

  • Eagles coach Doug Pederson tests positive for coronavirus Eagles coach Doug Pederson tests positive for coronavirus

    Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson has tested positive for coronavirus, the NFL franchise confirmed on Sunday.

    The Eagles said Super Bowl-winning coach Pederson is asymptomatic and currently in self-quarantine after contracting COVID-19.

    It comes after Eagles star and three-time Pro Bowler Lane Johnson was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on Wednesday following his coronavirus diagnosis.

    "We received confirmation this evening that head coach Doug Pederson tested positive for COVID-19," the Eagles said in a statement.

    "Pederson is asymptomatic and doing well. He is currently in self-quarantine and in communication with the team's medical staff.

    "The organisation is following the protocols established by the NFL and the NFLPA.

    "Any individuals in close contact with Pederson at our facility have been notified and will continue with daily testing procedures and compliance with all protocols before returning to the facility."

    The Eagles will face the Washington Football Team in week one of the NFL season on September 13.

  • Zverev still unsure if he'll play US Open Zverev still unsure if he'll play US Open

    World number seven Alexander Zverev is still unsure if he will play the US Open.

    The grand slam is scheduled to start on August 31 amid the coronavirus pandemic, but uncertainty remains over the strength of the field due to health concerns.

    Zverev, coming off three wins at the Ultimate Tennis Showdown, is unsure if he will make the trip to New York.

    "I will see because the situation right now in the US is not that great so I don't know what we will decide with my team," the German told Tennis Majors.

    "I want to play tournaments, but I think the US right now is a little bit of a funny place."

    The United States has seen more than 4.8 million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the death toll exceeding 158,000.

    Zverev, 23, said he would wait and see before making a decision on the US Open.

    "I think just see how it develops over the next few weeks, if the cases go up, how the travelling will be and if it will be safe," he said.

    "I might not to go there if I don't feel safe, my team doesn't feel safe. I'm still quite young but everybody that is involved with me maybe is a little bit older and they're in more danger than I am."

  • Rams coach McVay has faith in NFL season amid COVID-19 pandemic Rams coach McVay has faith in NFL season amid COVID-19 pandemic

    Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay is optimistic the NFL can proceed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The 2020 NFL season is scheduled to begin on September 10, despite all preseason games being cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis.

    Previously, McVay has been sceptical regarding training camp and the NFL season but the 34-year-old coach has faith in the campaign going ahead.

    "I feel a lot better now, having a little bit more knowledge and understanding of – it's really about the risk mitigation, keeping our ecosystem clear," McVay said.

    The Rams are scheduled to face the Dallas Cowboys in their NFL opener on September 13.

    McVay added: "We're still going to play football. I think there's a better understanding of how we apply those risk mitigation practices.

    "I made the comment about social distancing – we're not going to do that on the field, but in those meeting settings when you can do that and you're wearing your masks, those are the times that we're going to do that."

    "Guys are chomping at the bit to get back and understand that that's going to be part of how we have a successful season – is guys successfully handling themselves in the right way with regards to the risk mitigation," McVay continued.

    "We've always just talked about handling yourself in a professional manner outside the building for just good decision making and now that's an added part of it as we navigate through this."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.