Australian Open: Five things to watch
The main draw for the Australian Open which was due to take place this morning has been postponed, casting doubts over whether the tournament will start as scheduled on Monday.
Around 600 players, staff and officials have been forced to quarantine because a security guard at one of the tournament’s hotels tested positive for coronavirus.
All warm-up events planned to take place at Melbourne Park today have been cancelled.
The Australian Open draw has been moved to Friday morning, as tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed.
“The draw was set for 6pm (7am GMT) but we’ve postponed it until tomorrow afternoon,” Tiley said.
Tiley also attempted to calm fears over whether the Grand Slam will be disrupted.
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“We’re absolutely confident the Australian Open will go ahead,” he added. “We are starting on Monday.”
Tiley also explained how Friday’s draw will take place.
He said: “It will be a smaller version to what we’ve done before because the focus is to get the draw done and get it out there so everyone can start planning what they are doing Monday and who they are watching.”
The Melbourne public is growing uneasy that the influx of foreign players, coupled with a new positive coronavirus test, is affecting their community.
The Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has attempted to cool the situation by explaining the decision to host the event..
He said: “Our strategy is to try and find that Covid normal, to try to have economic activity, trying to have that economic rebuilding and recovery and manage this risk.
“We don’t have a hard border when no-one comes here. That would be the only way that we could have, in effect, zero risk.
“That’s a big call and not one that I’m actually empowered to make. That’s a matter for the PM.”
Meanwhile, Australian Open warm-up events are set to continue on Friday.
“This does give us three days for the lead-in events to be completed,” Tiley confirmed.
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