The panic is yet to stop, as the novel coronavirus pandemic keeps growing despite all the preventive measures. This year’s tennis season has been suspended ever since the viral disease turned into a global pandemic. And now, it seems even the 2021 season could be disrupted because of it. According to reports, Qantas has suspended all its international flights until March. As a result, a degree of doubt has cropped up about the sport’s first Grand Slam for the next year, the Australian Open 2021.
According to Daily Mail, a spokesman from Qantas told that all international and sale flights from Australia have been canceled until further notice due to the pandemic. With Qantas taking such a big decision to prevent any further spread of the virus, it is likely that other Australia-based air service providers may follow suit as well. If that happens, the Australian Open, which takes place January-February every year, may face the threat of cancelation.
Australia, as we speak, has just over 10,487 COVID-19 positive cases. Out of them, only about 2500 are active ones. The country has handled the crisis well and prevented a large-scale outbreak, unlike other big countries. Amid such positivity, the country’s government will certainly look forward to maintaining restrictions to ensure they eradicate the disease completely. It is understood that Qantas’ decision is more of a government decree.
Tennis fans in Australia are expecting to see their favorite athletes in action next year in Melbourne. However, if no international flights are allowed to land in Australia, how could the foreign players travel to that country?
It is not possible to organize a Grand Slam without involving the best players from around the world. In that case, the Australian Open organizers may soon declare the cancellation of their next season. However, there are a lot of months left before anything concrete can be decided. Until then, we just need to see how and when the tennis season resumes.
Recently, the US Open has announced that they will conduct their tournament in New York, in August, despite the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country. What’s more surprising is that the venue for the US Open is a coronavirus hotspot in the country.
Numerous players like Nick Kyrgios have already expressed their concerns regarding playing amid such a crisis. Not only the US Open, but also the 2020 French Open will happen as soon as the US Open finishes its campaign. So, it’s clear that the sport is gradually making its way back to the mainstream. Now, the spotlight will be on the 2021 Australian Open.