While tennis tournaments in several countries are being placed in doubt by the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand is looking to add such events.
The country has no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 and has lifted all internal restrictions, which would allow tournaments to have full crowds. That makes it an attractive location for players and the tours, but there are also quarantine measures in place that could be difficult to fulfill.
The ATP and WTA tournaments in Auckland are usually played at the beginning of the season, and organizers say they are open to holding more events if they are canceled elsewhere.
"First and foremost, we need to understand what access can look like, quarantine measures, what the restrictions would be once they got here," Karl Budge, the tournament director of Auckland, told local press.
"But I certainly think there is a scenario where we could host additional tournaments or prolonged events."
Government approval still has to be obtained for players to come into the tournament, or the Auckland tournaments cannot be played. Still, similar requests have been agreed to for other sports.
"So we’re really excited around what that could be, but there would need to be some high level conversations," said Budge.
That needs to start now, he added, and involves more than just New Zealand. The Auckland event is followed by the Australian Open, which is still scheduled to be played.
"The challenge for us is going to be athletes being able to go to Australia. So that’s the piece which still needs some work," he said.
The countries have previously announced they want to establish more travel arrangements with each other.