- 04 Feb 2021
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said there are no plans to change the schedule for the major amid coronavirus concerns.
More than 500 players and officials were forced into isolation after a worker at an Australian Open quarantine hotel tested positive for COVID-19.
It led to play at lead-up events in Melbourne on Thursday being called off and sparked fears around the year’s first grand slam, which is scheduled to begin on Monday.
But Tiley is hoping play is back underway on Friday and said he expects the Australian Open to start as scheduled.
“The intention is to start the Australian Open on Monday so there’s no intention of changing the time for the Australian Open,” he told a news conference.
Health Authorities have advised us that a Hotel Quarantine worker has tested positive for COVID-19.
Those associated with the AO who quarantined at the hotel now need to be tested and isolate until they receive a negative test result.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) February 3, 2021
Tiley added: “We’re absolutely confident the Australian Open is going to go ahead.
“We know that we’ve got a period now that we’ve got to work through with those 507 players and their staff, 160 players actually, that need a test and we fully expect the probability is very low that there’s going to be any issue.
“We fully expect them all to test negative and then we continue with play tomorrow like we originally planned and if we have to go through this again we’ll continue to go through this again and we’ve got another three and a half weeks of tennis, we’ve got a lot of tennis to play and fully expect to keep the original schedule once we get past today.”
The draw for the Australian Open was pushed back to Friday, while crowds are still expected to be in attendance for the major.