Victorian government 'confident' about 2021 Australian Open amid travel concerns

Australian Open Warm Up Events Hit By

Daniel Andrews, the state's top lawmaker, on Monday had cast doubts over planning for the season's first tennis Grand Slam tournament which is scheduled for January 18-31 at Melbourne Park.

The men's ATP Tour told players on Tuesday that the start of the 2021 season remained up in the air due to "challenges" in Australia, which is effectively closed to worldwide arrivals due to COVID-19 protocols.

"There was some reporting, and I'm not being critical of the reporting, but there was some reporting earlier in the week that this was all some sort of done deal, that there would be lead-up tournaments and the Australian Open and the whole thing was finalised", he said.

"I think that a bubble however constructed will be a feature and not just that, that's the way cricket will operate, that's the way the grand prix will operate some time later and many, many other events".

"I would like to go there and I'm ready to go there and I'm ready to quarantine for two weeks or whatever is necessary for me to be able to play", said Djokovic.

Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews said on Wednesday he was confident the Australian Open would go ahead at Melbourne Park but declined to confirm Tennis Australia's scheduling for the January 18-31 Grand Slam and other events in the leadup, including the team-based ATP Cup.

The stark message came after Australian tennis chiefs flagged "new challenges" around the arrival of players during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We understand there is uncertainty about the start of the 2021 season, and we are working as hard as possible to deliver the best possible calendar of events to players, maximising points, jobs and prize money opportunities".

Soares, playing in the doubles event at the ATP Finals in London this week, said it would be tough to play with no practice.

Strict virus lockdown in South Australia to end earlier than planned
Gyms will also open as restrictions ease at 11.59pm on Saturday and students will return to school on Monday. Locals are already free to exercise and, from tomorrow, most shops will be allowed to trade again.

World number one Novak Djokovic is urging the Victorian Government to allow players to compete before next year's Australian Open.

But Tiley's plans were given short shrift by Andrews, who said his government had not even signed off on the Grand Slam.

Novak Djokovic has issued an impassioned plea to Daniel Andrews to allow players to train for the Australian Open while in quarantine.

Authorities are working out when players will arrive to play the Australian Open. "We are continuing to work with Tennis Australia to confirm plans for January, and will provide an update as soon as more information is available in the next few days".

Alexander Zverev, bidding to win a second ATP Finals singles title, said he was also concerned.

'You will be able to have at least a tournament or two prior to the Australian Open, which for majority of the players is important.

'I mean, hopefully that's going to help tremendously with the calendar and everything, and you won't be then losing a week.

The Australian Open, he said, "is a massive event, it's an event that all of us love. but it comes at a time when the rest of the world is on fire".

But an outbreak in South Australia, which neighbours Victoria, triggered a six-day lockdown Wednesday as officials rush to contain a cluster in Adelaide.

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