Players from all around the globe have arrived in Australia for the Australian Open 2021. And so, to minimise the risk of the virus, the tournaments will commence and conclude inside protected bubbles.
According to the Victorian police minster, the strictest of rules are imposed on the tennis contingents. However, the organisers have stretched their limits to give players a hassle-free experience.
Currently, two bubbles are operating in Australia, one in Melbourne and other in Adelaide. While the former will host almost every player and their staff, the latter is exclusively reserved for the few.
Namely, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams are quarantining in Adelaide. The rest, a figure close to 1200, will spend their two-weeks inside hotel rooms in Melbourne.
The Grand Hyatt, Pullman Albert Park, and View Melbourne are the designated hotels for the Melbourne bubble. In the case of anyone contracting the virus, the person will be shifted to Holiday Inn.
All players can get outside of their rooms to train for 5 hours every day. Also, two players can train together for the first two weeks of the quarantine. As for the staff, they will have to be strictly confined in their hotel rooms for 14 days.
Venues for training- Melbourne Park, the National Tennis Centre and Albert Reserve, are also a part of the bubble. However, players need a negative test on Day 2 of quarantine to get the 5-hour benefit. Moreover, players will take a test every day.
To fulfill the mammoth task, they will hire hundreds of extra staff to manage the bubble. Police will also be present on every site all around the clock.
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The organizers have undoubtedly invested heart, soul, and a fortune in setting up the Australian Open. Tennis Australia has confirmed to bear all its cost, which is likely to be around AU$100 million.
Fortunately, a capacity of 35% audience will also witness the first Slam live in action. But the figure can further see a downfall.
Above all, the organizers successfully flew in all the players and staff via private chartered flights. The only part left is the players taking to the court to compete for the Happy Slam 2021.
Scheduled from 8th February 2021, the Australian Open will go down in history for building a vast and unique bubble. Before the Slam, the men will play the ATP Cup from February 1.