‘No normal Australian Open until 2023 at least,’ warns Craig Tiley

The Australian Open faces a long fight to return to normal, says Craig Tiley, who says it is likely it will be 2023 before it can happen.

Current plans are for the 2021 tournament to go ahead without fans, following the US Open blueprint from earlier this year.

But, despite the promising progress being made to fight the virus, Tiley has warned the Australian Open has a long road ahead of it.

“I’m of the view that these current adjustments will last longer than we think,’ he said.

“We are already talking about different scenarios for 2022, because we don’t think we will be repeating 2020 until at least 2023 or 2024.

“That’s how we are managing our risks and our cash flow. Professionally we need to be realistic and manage players’ expectations on money and opportunity and make sure that events can be sustainable for the future.”

Australia’s sheer size makes its attempts to contain the coronavirus pandemic a little more widescale than most, and that poses particular problems for the ATP Cup which is staged across three cities simultaneously.

“Right now the state borders are not open, they’ve been closed for more than six months,” Tiley said.

“We need a guarantee that for instance, if you were playing in Brisbane and all of a sudden 100 new cases cropped up, would you then require a new two-week quarantine coming from there into Melbourne?

“We said from the beginning that if quarantine plans are approved across the states then we can play across the cities, otherwise we have to contract everything to Melbourne, because that’s where everyone has to be in late January.”

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