The 2021 Australian Open is reportedly set to go ahead on Feb. 8, three weeks after the original Melbourne Park start date.
According to multiple sources, Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has sent an email to players, coaches and managers outlining strict conditions, including two weeks quarantine.
News Corp reported Tiley’s leaked email said authorities had agreed to special conditions for players that would allow them to prepare in Melbourne for the year’s first grand slam.
“It’s taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the AO on February 8,” Tiley said in an email, according to News Corp.
“Players will have to quarantine for two weeks from 15 January, but the Victorian Government has agreed to special conditions for AO participants – agreeing that they need to be able to prepare for a grand slam.”
In order to train they must test negative to COVID-19 on the first day of isolation.
The players will then be tested another four times before the tournament starts.
Following two weeks of quarantine they will be free to move around the city.
Tennis Australia said late Wednesday the Victorian Government was still to sign off on the final plan.
Earlier in the day Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said he was committed to hosting the tournament but the situation in Melbourne was very different to the US Open in New York or French Open in Paris.
Andrew said the details of quarantine arrangements for players were still being finalised.
“Only the Australian Open is a tennis tournament in a city where it can likely be assumed that those players will bring the virus here,” Andrews said on Wednesday.
“Every other grand slam (is happening where) cases are running wild.
“So we are unique in that we’ve built something that no one else has built across the nation … and on that basis, we have to safeguard that, and I think we can.”
Tennis Australia is also reportedly looking at re-working the prize money distribution to increase the first round purse.