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AO Considers Quarantining Players


The Happy Slam could be strictly home major next January.

As the coronavirus crisis continues to shutdown sport, Tennis Australia officials are considering contingency plans for the 2021 Australian Open.

Nadal: 2020 Practically Lost

The tournament is scheduled for next January though if it's contested it will likely look unlike any Grand Slam we've previously seen.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley says "worst-case scenario is no AO." 

Under a best-case scenario, players would be quarantined in advance of the Melbourne major with only Aussie fans in attendance, according to Tiley.

"'Our best-case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans,'' Tiley told Australian Associated Press.



Wimbledon cancelled for the first time in 75 years.

Roland Garros made the unilateral decision to move from its traditional May spot in the schedule to September 20th—one week after the US Open ends.

The US Open, which is set to start on August 31st, is in jeopardy given New York's status as the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tennis Express

Tiley's comments come days after world No. 2 Rafael Nadal said he was doubtful the 2020 season will resume and hopeful tennis can return in time for the 2021 Australian Open.

"Hopefully [the season resumes], but I don't think so, unfortunately," Nadal told El Pais. "I sign [up] to be ready for 2021—hopefully.

"I'm more concerned with the Australian Open than what happens later this year. 2020 I see it practically lost. I hope to be able to start next year. I hope it so."

Tiley told AAP there are four models for the 2021 Australian Open, which are all predicated on decision dates. 

“We’ve modelled the times we have to make decisions, dates we have to make decisions, who it impacts, how it’s going to impact them," Tiley said. “We’ve done that for 670 staff. We’ve done that for all of our partners: our media partners, our sponsors and for all the governments and places we rent facilities.

“And now we’re working on the international playing group and getting them to understand what each of those scenarios are and what it means for them and how we can action it."

Photo credit: Australian Open Facebook

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