“Positive Outcome Was Not Possible”: Australian Open 2022 Warm-Up Event Cancelled Due to COVID-19

Published 06/30/2021, 8:57 AM EDT
A general view inside Rod Laver Arena at sunset during the Men’s Singles Final match betwen Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Rafael Nadal of Spain during day 14 of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)


The ATP and WTA events, scheduled to take place in January 2022 ahead of the Australian Open 2022, have been cancelled following complications with COVID-19 protocols. After cancelling the 2021 edition of New Zealand’s premier tournament, the Auckland classic has fallen victim to the pandemic yet again. Fans were really looking forward to seeing their favourites battle it out next year; however, they will have to settle for disappointment.

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“We are incredibly disappointed that we won’t be able to bring the ASB Classic back to Auckland this summer, but current immigration and quarantine requirements mean it’s just not feasible,” Tennis Auckland Chairman, Simon Vannini said.

Australian Open 2022 in doubt?

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The ATP and WTA Tour are significant in building up to the mega-tournament, the Australian Open. However, with the announcement of their cancellation, the AO now remains uncertain. As it appears, the reason for the cancellation of the tournament seems to be the stringent immigration policies that restrict more than 250 athletes, officials and staff from travelling to New Zealand.

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The Auckland Classic has seen some heavyweights, fight it out over the years. The current women’s champion is the 23 time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams, while the men’s title belongs to French international Ugo Humbert.

Reports suggest that the borders of Australia are expected to be shut until mid-2022, making the AO an impossible dream. However, with the committee looking through different scenarios to find one that pans out the best, there is still hope for the season opener.

Chairman Vannini believes that all is not lost

Chairman Simon Vannini, promises fans to try his best in ensuring the tournament isn’t whitewashed completely. “We are working closely with Tennis NZ on some alternative ideas that we think will keep tennis fans excited, and we will continue to ensure tennis remains one of New Zealand’s favourite sports,” he said.

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Rescheduling the AO this year proved to be a very costly affair with authorities having to fly more than 1000 players, coaches and officials to Melbourne. Not to forget, also bearing the cost of their two-week quarantine stay. Certainly, the committee will try to find other ways of organizing the blockbuster event.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: A ballboy on court during a match between Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands and Ana Ivanovic of Serbia during day four of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2012, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Lucas Dawson/Getty Images)

As things stand, one can only hope that the much anticipated Australian Open 2022 is somehow still on the cards. The tournament plays a pivotal role in getting the ball rolling for the rest of the season. Without it, fans will have to wait a little longer while the players will struggle harder to find their rhythm.

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Melroy Fernandes

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