Australian Open organisers face new challenges to stage competition due to quarantine restrictions

Zverev hopes to be able to practice ahead of the Open

Australia has adopted some of the strictest measures in the world to combat coronavirus, and South Australia is entering a six-day lockdown after a handful of cases linked to a hotel quarantine site.

Victoria has been the worst-hit state in Australia but has now had 19 days with no new cases and officials are understandably nervous about what the effect might be of letting in hundreds of tennis players and associated personnel from around the world.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Andrews said: “This is incredibly complex. It has to be done safely, it has to be done properly.

“We’re confident that we’ll finish up with an Australian Open, it’s a very important event, but there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure that’s as safe as possible.

“Whether there are lead-in tournaments, that’s to be worked through.”

The challenging circumstances have meant the ATP has not yet put in place a calendar for the start of 2021.

A note to players on Tuesday, shared on Twitter by world number 193 Lukas Lacko, said: “In discussions with Tennis Australia over the past 24 hours, we have been informed there are some new challenges around the previously planned arrival dates for players and team members.

“We continue to work with Tennis Australia on confirming plans for January, and we will provide an update as soon as more information is available in the coming days.

“We understand there is uncertainty about the start of the 2021 season, and we are working as hard as possible to deliver the best possible calendar of events to players, maximising points, jobs and prize money opportunities.”


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