Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has revealed that the top three stars in both the men’s and women’s circuits will camp in Adelaide during the quarantine period ahead of the Australian Open 2021. This means that the likes of Novak Djokovic, Naomi Osaka, and Rafael Nadal will isolate in the South Australian city.
The government of Victoria, the host state for the Australian Open, has decreed that all players enlisted to feature in the tournament will have to observe two weeks of mandatory and hard quarantine after setting foot in Melbourne.
As per the protocol laid down for the Major, the players won’t be at liberty to go anywhere, apart from shuttling between their hotel rooms and the training and practice facilities, during the first couple of weeks.
However, in an interview to Tennis Channel, Tiley has confirmed that since the designated hotels in Melbourne are close to reach the capacity set by the Victorian government, it has been decided that the top three players from the ATP and WTA Tours would be weighing anchor in the scenic South Australian city.
He said the South Australian government was approached to host the top three stars in the men’s and women’s fields as the tournament organizers are wary not to exceed the limit (hotel accommodation) set by the Victorian government.
Tiley revealed that the South Australian government was initially approached to quarantine at least ‘50 people’, but it didn’t play ball.
“We approached the South Australian government about the possibility of them quarantining at least 50 people. But they wouldn’t have any interest in doing it, because there’s no benefit to them to put their whole community at risk,” the Tennis Australia CEO said.
Tiley said that since it would be of benefit to the South Australian government to host players if there were exhibition tennis matches in the city ahead of the Australian Open, the tournament organizers decided to do the same.
“But it would be a benefit if there was an exhibition just before Melbourne. So we chose the Top-3 men and Top-3 women and they’ll play an exhibition (event) on the 29th and 30th of January,” Tiley said.
Tiley further added that the players camping in Adelaide would be subjected to the same quarantine rules as the ones isolating in Melbourne.
“The conditions of the quarantine will be the same. They’ll be in a different hotel and a smaller cohort, and travel direct to Adelaide. We think this is a great opportunity to actually launch before we go into the season,” Tiley said.