Uncertainties Continue To Rise, Threatening The Australian Open 2022 On The Horizon

Published 12/26/2021, 5:30 AM EST
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake


The entire tennis world had been waiting for the Australian Open to finally arrive. Everyone looked forward to the major to take their tennis woes away after the 2021 season ended. However, uncertainty has shrouded the first Grand Slam of the season.

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Not only have major players from all over the world been testing positive for COVID-19, but Australia themselves have been seeing local cases on a sharp incline. In fact, COVID-19 cases have been surging in Australia over the last several days.

A major warm-up for the Australian Open was canceled

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In October 2021, the Kooyong Classic warmup tournament was canceled owing to the uncertainties about COVID-19 mandates in Australia. Thus, it dealt a major blow to the ‘summer of tennis’ in Australia that the world looks forward to.

There has been constant uncertainty regarding the status of unvaccinated players and their entry into Australia. In fact, this is the reason that the Kooyong Classic will not be going forward.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 09. Rafael Nadal (R) of Spain congratulates Richard Gasquet (L) of France after being defeated by him in the 2018 Kooyong Classic at Kooyong. January 9, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, many huge draws (players), too, have been canceling their tours to Australia. On the other hand, several big players have contracted the virus in their own parts of the world or on tour. Thus, even if the Australian Open were to go ahead, it would scarcely have the usual star power it does.

Rafael Nadal, most recently, contracted the Covid-19 virus, which jeopardizes his Australian tour as well. Previously, he had planned to play in the Melbourne Summer Set leading up to the Australian Open.

Denis Shapovalov announced unfortunate news today

Canadian World No. 14 Denis Shapovalov landed in Sydney this week. Sadly, he announced today that he has tested positive for the virus. Thus, another top-20 player’s participation in the Australian Open enters murky waters.

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Meanwhile, British tennis star Andy Murray, with his wildcard into the major, will be playing at the Australian Open. Moreover, the list of absentees continued growing with World No. 25 Jennifer Brady opting out due to a foot injury.

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – June 29, 2021. Canada’s Denis Shapovalov reacts during his first-round match against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber REUTERS/Paul Childs

Furthermore, World No. 23 Belinda Bencic, too, contracted the virus this week as well.

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Players’ health will be a matter of concern for themselves and their teams, as the virus, even if it leaves the system, has lasting effects. What do you think about the Australian Open? Should it still proceed as planned, and if so, will a new winner emerge?

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Samarveer Singh

247 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. He is also an automotive writer at HotCars.

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