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Officials deny that 2022 Australian Open could move
"We're going to be here in Melbourne, we are going to make it work."
Published May 17, 2021
Tennis Australia does not plan to hold next year's Australian Open anywhere except Melbourne, insisted CEO Craig Tiley.
He was reacting to a broadcast from ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) suggesting the event could be moved to Doha or Dubai if the country's current restrictions on foreign entry and hotel quarantine are still in place, as the government has indicated is possible.
"We're going to be here in Melbourne, we are going to make it work," Tiley told press at an event in the host city. "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 said that require authorities to agree to relaxing the usual quarantine requirements.
"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," he said.
During this year's Australian Open, players were required to quarantine for two weeks in tournament hotels and allowed to leave their rooms for five hours per day for training. Some were in strict quarantine following potential contact with positive cases while coming to Australia. But this was highly unpopular with a lot of players, who said it did not allow them to play to their highest standards.
Tiley pointed to the ATP and WTA 'bubble' requirements as players go from country to country, which include regular testing and until recently, restricted players from going anywhere except the hotel and tournament.
"A very, very, small percentage, I think one or two percent at most, have tested positive," he said.
The Minister of Sport for Victoria, Martin Pakula, also said officials wanted to hold the event in Melbourne and in its usual spot in the schedule, but did not comment on entry requirements. The event was this year delayed by three weeks.
The tournament will need to have its plans approved by the government of Victoria, where the Grand Slam competition is played.