Australian Open boss Craig Tiley said Thursday he was “absolutely confident” that the tournament will be held from Monday, despite the difficulties posed by the emergence of a new case of coronavirus in Melbourne.
“We are absolutely confident that the Australian Open will take place,” Tiley said, as half a thousand players and accredited people have been placed in solitary confinement. “Our plan is to continue playing tomorrow as planned. “
After a 2020 season upset by the pandemic, the organizers had made the bet to maintain this major event, at the cost of extraordinary logistics due to exceptional health constraints. But the mechanics seized up again on Wednesday with the discovery of a case of Covid-19 among the staff of the Grand Hyatt, one of the three hotels which was used to quarantine players and followers in Melbourne.
The risk may well be “low” for players and officials, according to the authorities, all matches scheduled for Thursday in Melbourne Park, where six preparatory tournaments for the Australian Open are taking place, are canceled. About fifty matches were scheduled, between ATP Cup, two other ATP tournaments, and three WTA tournaments.
The Australian Open draw, which was scheduled for Thursday evening, was however postponed by one day. The tournament had already been postponed for three weeks in order to allow players to quarantine and compete in preparation tournaments.
The Minister of Health of the State of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, Martin Foley, stressed that the 520 people placed in solitary confinement were contact cases: “We are not worried about them”.
“But because it’s better to be over-cautious, we want to do everything to track and manage whoever may have come in contact with that person,” he said. Special arrangements have been made to ensure that all are quickly tested, and that they can be back on the courts on Friday. The results are usually known within 24 hours.
Article original de: www.leparisien.fr