The Australian Open will go ahead as scheduled, beginning on Monday at Melbourne Park, regardless of the detection of a Covid-19 case in a resort quarantine employee at a facility linked to the tennis.
“We’re completely assured the Australian Open will go ahead,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley mentioned on Thursday afternoon.
“We will be beginning on Monday and we’ve no intention of adjusting occasions.”
But gamers desirous to know who they will face within the opening spherical of the primary grand slam of the yr will be saved ready, with the draw put again from Thursday to Friday.
Round 500 gamers and assist workers had been pressured into isolation after the contaminated particular person – a 26-year-old man working at one of many motels containing a number of the sizeable tennis cohort visiting Melbourne – returned a optimistic check consequence on Wednesday.
Testing started in earnest on Thursday morning and people affected will stay in isolation till they return a adverse check. Consequently, Thursday’s play within the six warm-up tournaments being contested at Melbourne Park was postponed.
Relying on check outcomes, these occasions ought to resume on Friday, with a busy day of tennis anticipated as organisers play catch up.
“We all know that we’ve a interval now the place we’ve to work with these 507 gamers and their workers,” Tiley mentioned. “The chance may be very low that there’ll be a difficulty although.
“We anticipate all of them to check adverse. The plan is to proceed to play [in the lead-up events] tomorrow as deliberate. If we’ve to go via this once more, we’ll go via this once more. Now we have thee and a half weeks of tennis to play and we’ll go an as scheduled.”
How Tennis Australia would squeeze all remaining matches in earlier than Sunday can be introduced in a while Thursday day, Tiley mentioned, but asking some gamers to play two matches in in the future is a possible state of affairs.
With inclement climate forecast to hit Melbourne on Friday, Tiley mentioned they’d plough on on these courts below roofs.
The draw for the Open which, in a departure from the standard pomp and ceremony, was scheduled to be made behind closed doorways on Thursday night, has will now happen on Friday afternoon.
Earlier on Thursday, Victoria’s deputy chief well being officer Professor Allen Cheng mentioned the danger to gamers and their assist workers who had been quarantining on the Grand Hyatt resort of contracting the virus was low.
“I feel it’s unlikely [they would test positive] but we’ve requested for testing of all the gamers and different individuals who have been in that resort,” Cheng mentioned. “We predict the danger to different friends on the resort, so tennis gamers and their accompanying workers, is comparatively low as a result of they had been within the rooms on the time versus workers who had been outdoors the rooms.
“That mentioned, the final case to depart the resort for the well being resort left on the twenty second so we’re now getting on to shut to 14 days since that point. So we predict that threat is comparatively low so we’re testing them to make certain, and it’s precautionary.”
Victoria’s premier, Dan Andrews, lower a extra cautious tone and mentioned there have been no ensures. “The match correct shouldn’t be affected by this, [but] this stuff can change,” he mentioned.