Monday, 25 January, 2021

Victoria government promises strictest health protocols for Australian Open

Sebastian Korda Sebastian Korda pushed past John Isner in Delray Beach to reach his first ATP semifinal
Cary Erickson | 14 January, 2021, 14:33

"Upon arrival all players are immediately placed in a secure quarantine environment for 14 days under the authority of COVID Quarantine Victoria, and will undergo a more rigorous testing schedule than most returning travellers".

The American, twice a quarter-finalist at Melbourne Park, initially posted to social media on Wednesday that he had tested positive for the virus for a second time. According to Andre Sa, who is the Head of Player Liaison for Tennis Australia, fitness concerns did play a major role in the Grand Slam ace's decision to withdraw, but so too did wife Mirka's decision not to subject the couple's four young children to at least two weeks confined within the walls of a Melbourne hotel room. "Atleast I get to keep my points".

However, the world No.50 was then allowed to join the delayed flight, calling Australian Open boss Craig Tiley a "wizard".

"Upon completion of that review he was cleared to fly".

The Australian Open has already been delayed three weeks because restrictions in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, and is set to open on February 8.

A total of 128 players, including the 2019 Australian Open boys' singles champion Lorenzo Musetti, participated in the event held outside of Australia for the first time in the tournament's 116-year history.

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The province says it will publish the "legal parameters" for the order online today and offer more clarification on the measure. Ford said the number of cases and deaths related to COVID-19 are at the highest since the start of the pandemic last spring.

But a statement from the Australian Open has looked to reassure people that players' infectiousness is checked prior to boarding flights.

Six women and six men will also travel to Australia as lucky losers and undergo mandatory quarantine like the rest of the worldwide players, hoping to get a place in the main draw if another player is injured or withdraws.

On Wednesday, almost 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles) from Melbourne, the qualifying tournament was completed for the tournament, with 16 men and 16 women set to join the singles main draw. The three-time Major victor has been in self-isolation for the past few days, feeling light symptoms and still hoping to reach Melbourne somehow and use his main draw wild card.

The 15 flights will be at no more than 25% capacity, and will arrive over a 36-hour period ending early Saturday. But though the rules are definitely harsh, said defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in response to the latest restrictions, it's for the protection of and in the best interests of everyone involved.

Players are due to touch down in Melbourne on chartered planes from seven cities, although the game's biggest stars, including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams, will arrive in Adelaide and quarantine there.

The Australian Open replied to the odd turn events with Tweets of its own.