Tiley says Australian Open plans close to being finalised amid cancellation reports

Plans for the 2021 Australian Open are close to being finalised, tournament director Craig Tiley said.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley is confident plans for next year’s event will be finalised “very soon”.

Uncertainty remains over the scheduled first Grand Slam event of 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The start of the Australian Open looks set to be pushed back by a week or two, having originally been scheduled to begin on January 18, amid questions about the players’ travel and preparation.

Tiley statement

Reports early on Tuesday suggested there was still a chance the Australian Open could be cancelled but in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Tiley said details were close to being finalised.

“Tennis Australia continues to work closely and productively with the Victorian government and we are confident we will be in a position to finalise details for the Australian Open 2021 very soon,” he said.

“We are also in constant communication with the global tennis community, including the Tours, the players and their teams, as we consult with them on plans for the event and how players can safely practise and prepare for a grand slam tournament under the Victorian government’s proposed quarantine conditions.

“Understandably there has been public speculation on the various plans under consideration as well as the many confidential conversations that have taken place and our position remains clear – everything will require approval and agreement from the Victorian government before it can be confirmed.

The protection and safety of the community remains paramount in the discussions. Our team continues to work on delivering a fantastic – and safe – AO 2021 for the players, the fans, our partners and our staff. We look forward to announcing more details, including when tickets will go on sale, very soon.”

Victoria has not had a coronavirus case since October 29.

The Australian Open has begun in January in every year since 1987, but the Victoria minister for tourism, sport and major events, Martin Pakula, said last week next year’s tournament was likely to be delayed by a week or two, which could push the start date into February.

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