Although they escaped the treacherous waters of COVID-19 this year, Australian Open officials and Tennis Australia understand that there beloved tournament will likely look much different next year.
Despite ATP and WTA tournament play only being suspended until July 13 at the moment, both organizations understand that this pandemic will likely still stress many nations come January. Luckily, Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia and Director of the Australian Open, has gotten out ahead of the headlines and released a statement on the matter.
“We have to be prepared for a changed environment. We obviously hope that as a community, we are through COVID-19 as quickly and safely as is possible,” said Tiley. “But we don’t know which of the current measures being used to try and contain the spread of infection will still need to be in place for the medium to long term.”
This will likely come with rigid guidelines for competitors and tournament workers and will most likely come without fans. Unlike Wimbledon, who supposedly is set to receive $141 million from a pandemic insurance policy they have been paying into, the Australian Open doesn’t have the luxury of canceling their tournament. So, a tournament without fans would still be a tournament nonetheless.
Hopefully, as the season resumes and draws closer to the first Grand Slam, there will be a firm plan in place to rest our minds. Until then, we must continue to do our part to stop this pandemic.
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