November 21, 2020
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Tennis Australia (TA) dismissed on Saturday media reports claiming the start of the Australian Open is set to be pushed back from January to February or March next year due to COVID-19 protocols in the country.
The Herald Sun newspaper reported the year’s first Grand Slam risked being deferred even as the organisers discuss quarantine arrangements with the Victoria state government.
“It’s pure speculation,” a TA spokesperson said.
“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.”
The report quoted Victoria premier Daniel Andrews as saying he was “very confident” of hosting the Grand Slam but the exact timing and arrangements “are not settled yet”.
The TA had planned for players and their entourages to arrive in Victoria in mid-December to have time to undertake a mandatory two-week quarantine period before competing in Melbourne in January.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Lincoln Feast and Christian Radnedge)