The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) yesterday hinted that the 2022 edition of the Australian Open could well move out of the country to Dubai or Doha, if the government continues to impose restrictions on foreign entry and hotel quarantine.
However, Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley assured that the Australian Open will be moving out of Melbourne.
Speaking to the press at an event in Melbourne, Tiley insisted, “We’re going to be here in Melbourne, we are going to make it work. We’re going to find a way to get the players here who are currently traveling the world in a bubble. We are the only country where quarantine is required. We’ve got a find a way to manage that and we will.”
Tiley wants authorities to relax quarantine rules
Tiley further added that the authorities will also need to relax some stringent quarantine rules. “That is what we are planning towards, that is what we have set our scenarios against and it is contingent, obviously, on having a modified environment which relates to quarantining because the tennis athletes that are traveling around the world [are] in a bubble.”
Even during the 2021 edition, the government has imposed several restrictions on the players and staff travelling from various countries. The players were only allowed to step out of their hotel rooms for five hours of practice. The move was not well received by many leading players from both ATP and WTA.
The Minister of Sport for Victoria, Martin Pakula too is still keen on hosting the event in Melbourne, but the tournament needs a green signal from the Victorian government to go ahead.
Although the edition was staged in Melbourne this year, the event was postponed by three weeks and the qualifiers too were played in the Middle East. Novak Djokovic won the men’s championship, and the ladies event was won by Naomi Osaka.