Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley hopes plans for the “tennis summer” will be finalized soon. (More sports news)
Huge uncertainty continues to surround the expected first grand slam of 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Reports suggest all preliminary tournaments could be moved to Victoria, while players are apparently denied entry to Australia until January.
On Saturday, reports said the Australian Open could be moved from its usual January start to March or April.
In a statement on Sunday, Tiley said work was continuing – but he appeared to suggest the event would be held in the summer, which runs from December through February in Australia.
“Tennis Australia is doing everything in its power to bring the tennis summer to a close as soon as possible,” he said.
“Our intention is to provide a summer in which conditions allow players to prepare and perform at their best and supporters to benefit from their efforts – all in a safe environment for all.
Summer update: pic.twitter.com/qj5c9xXfMy
– Craig Tiley (@CraigTiley) November 22, 2020
“We are working closely with the Victorian Government on a plan that takes into account the needs of players, fans, our partners and staff, and which is a major benefit to the Victorian and Australian economy.
“We are continuing our urgent discussions with local health authorities regarding quarantine and biosecurity requirements and are confident that we will have decisions soon.
“Tennis Australia is keenly aware of the need for certainty, but also aware of reaching a solution with the state government that ensures the safety of the entire community.
“We look forward to announcing our tickets on sale date as soon as all arrangements with the relevant authorities are finalized and we will have more information on crowd sizes. We expect this on-sale date to take place within the next two weeks.
“We are looking forward to a summer and look forward to getting more details to you as soon as possible.”
The Australian Open has kicked off in January every year since 1987.
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