With the present situation of the world with the traveling restrictions, the resumption of tennis seems to be challenging, and the sport returning to normal seems impossible. The fatal pandemic led to the cancelation of the Wimbledon Championships for the first time since World War II. And now, the Australian Open 2021 has also come with a new set of regulations to make the tournament happen.
Considering the tennis season is soon set to resume, CEO of Tennis Australia and the tournament director of the Australian Open Craig Tiley mentioned that emulating 2019’s edition is nearly impossible, where more than 800k fans had visited Melbourne Park. Also, in 2021, the tournament won’t be allowing international spectators.
“We will not hit the numbers we had last year, a record 821,000 through the gates. Our fans will be from Melbourne and Victoria state, interstate, as well as potentially New Zealanders, if they lift border restrictions. But the 15% we get from overseas will likely not be here,” Tiley said.
When it comes to quarantines, it will be difficult for the players to travel from one city to another for different tournaments. Altogether, it would lead to complications in the sport. Also, similar to the US Open, the Aussie Major is considering limiting the entourage of the players.
Amidst the pandemic, the US Open and French Open are getting underway. International travel is far away from normal, but tournaments plan on being stern with the way they hold their event.
“If conditions improve and the U.S. Open and French Open goes well and they have positive events, it will build the confidence of the players and help us here in Melbourne next year,” Tiley added, as quoted by the Associated Press.
He went on to say that while players will want to play at both the US Open and French Open, they will have to be mindful of certain protocols and how these could affect their plans. He said, “I know everyone wants to play the U.S. Open and French Open and they are adamant on wanting to do that. But they also have to get an exemption to leave Australia, consider a possible 14-day quarantine period when they come back, and how that will affect their training schedule.”
Australian Open 2020
The country of Australia has recorded a total of 15,000 coronavirus cases and presently there are about 6,000 active ones. However, the city of Melbourne is recording new cases. In light of that, on July 8, a stage three lockdown for six weeks was declared in the Victorian capital.
Source – Associated Press