The top players, including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will move their quarantine from Melbourne to Adelaide, where they will play an exhibition event, it has been revealed.
Initial plans had called for all players and staff to isolate themselves in Melbourne, with certain exemptions for training, although that has proved tough to organise given the sheer volume of people needing to be housed.
That prompted Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley to seek the help from Adelaide, although it initially fell on deaf ears – until Tiley sweetened the pot.
“We approached the South Australian government about the possibility of them quarantining at least 50 people,” Tiley told the Tennis Channel.
“But they wouldn’t have any interest in doing it, because there’s no benefit to them to put their whole community at risk.
“But it would be a benefit if there was an exhibition just before Melbourne.
“So we chose the Top-3 men and Top-3 women and they’ll play an exhibition (event) on the 29th and 30th of January,”
“The conditions of the quarantine will be the same. They’ll be in a different hotel and a smaller cohort, and travel direct to Adelaide.
“We think this is a great opportunity to actually launch before we go into the season.”
Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Dominic Thiem will take up the men’s spots, while Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka will be two of the women involved.
The WTA number one, Ashleigh Barty, has no need to quarantine, so she is expected to be replaced by Serena Williams.
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