Australian Open hopes receive boost but Melbourne officials warn nothing is certain

Officials in Melbourne think the Australian Open ‘can go ahead’ in January, although they have warned it is not as settled as many reports suggest.

As well as the Australian Open, Tennis Australia hope to stage the ATP Cup in Victoria to circumvent complications with quarantine rules relating to the coronavirus.

However, while every attempt to secure tennis for January are being made, it appears to be far from a certainty at this point.

“The notion that this is all a done deal, and there’s going to be all these tennis players turn up now, that’s not settled, not settled at all,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“We’ve got to work through those things in a methodical way. It’s an important event. Absolutely.

“But avoiding a third wave is arguably even more important, but we’ll keep working through those issues.

“I think we can have the event go ahead, but it’s going to have to look different.”

The Australian Open is part of the traditional huge summer of sport in Melbourne, along with test match cricket at the MCG.

Andrews, though, says the tennis is inherently much more challenging to organise.

“We want the event to happen just like we want the Boxing Day Test,” he explained.

“But the thing about the cricket is, compared to the tennis, it’s a tiny group of people that we think we can quarantine.

“The challenges involved in the Australian Open are very, very different.”

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