Why Strict COVID-19 Measures at Australian Open 2021 Would Be Tough for Tennis Players?

Published 11/26/2020, 8:20 AM EST
A general view of Rod Laver Arena during day six of the 2016 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)


It’s been around a year since the COVID-19 has caused disruptions in almost every individual’s lives. Most of the events across various fields have been forced into cancelation or have been postponed. The life-threatening virus still continues to hamper our surroundings. The Australian Open 2021 was scheduled to take place late in January. However, there are worries that it might get pushed further to February.

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The overwhelming consensus is that players would have to quarantine themselves for 14 days. During which, they would not be allowed to practice. Not being able to play for 14 days towards the build-up of the first Grand Slam of the year might be a huge loss to bear.

A general view of Melbourne Park during day five of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 18, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Australian Open: Players’ Well-Being at Risk?

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Players won’t take this too well, which is understandable. Not being able to play for 14 days and then having to put full exertion is most certainly not suitable for athletes.

Laying emphasis on this aspect, Australian player John Millman said, “You just can’t do a two-week hard lockdown to get ready for an Australian Open. I don’t think any of the international players would do that. Your body is what pays the bills. You are an injury risk. You can’t go from zero to 100 right away, that’s the biggest risk.”

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The warm-up tournaments played prior to the Australian Open such as Brisbane open is scheduled to be held in Melbourne this year. The ATP Cup, which was a success last year, is most probably getting postponed to either March or April.

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Although nothing has been confirmed, authorities are keeping options open. The originally scheduled date of January 18th is surely not going to happen. There could be a possibility of January 25th acting as the go-to date. 

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Tennis Australia hopes that 10 days would be sufficient for players to practice after finishing their quarantine period. On Friday, a decision can be made with regard to the scheduling of the Australian Open 2021.

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Rohan Kollare

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Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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