Australian Open 2021: All gamers, officers take a look at unfavorable as preparations get again on monitor

Australian Open 2021: All gamers, officers take a look at unfavorable as preparations get again on monitor

Preparations for the yr’s opening tennis Grand Slam have been thrown into disarray when a employee at one of many designated event resorts turned contaminated with the virus.

Australian Open 2021: All players, officials test negative as preparations get back on track

Representational picture. AP

Melbourne: An Australian Open testing blitz has revealed no new coronavirus circumstances, organisers mentioned Friday, placing preparations for the Grand Slam event again on monitor after a Covid scare.

Planning for the yr’s opening tennis main was thrown into disarray when a employee at one of many designated event resorts turned contaminated with the virus.

Some 507 gamers and officers have been ordered to take checks and isolate till they acquired their end result, with six warm-up tournaments suspended on Thursday.

However they have been all cleared on Friday because the motion resumed at Melbourne Park.

“All checks performed on AO (Australian Open) quarantine individuals yesterday have returned unfavorable outcomes,” mentioned a tweet on the event’s official Twitter account.

The Australian Open’s rocky build-up has underscored the difficulties of worldwide sport in the course of the pandemic, as Olympics organisers wrestle with preparations for the Tokyo Video games which begin in July.

State authorities and the Australian public are extraordinarily cautious of coronavirus circumstances after Melbourne spent 4 months in lockdown till late October.

Victoria state had gone 28 days and not using a regionally acquired an infection earlier than the newest case, which prompted a tightening of restrictions round carrying masks.

Regardless of the scare, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley mentioned he was assured followers would nonetheless be capable of attend matches this week and on the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.

“Spectators will proceed to be allowed within the website, and we’re nonetheless promoting tickets,” he mentioned Friday.

“The positioning shall be a particularly secure place. There’s well being checks, contact tracing arrange, divided into zones, bodily distancing.

“At this level there is no change to our place on crowds.”

Day by day crowds of between 25,000 and 30,000 are allowed on the Australian Open, equating to about half the attendance of final yr.

Grand Slam turmoil

The Australian Open was initially as a consequence of begin on 18 January, however the nation’s strict quarantine guidelines compelled Tennis Australia and the Victorian state authorities right into a rethink.

After hypothesis that it is likely to be delayed till March, the event was ultimately moved again three weeks to eight February.

Greater than 1,000 gamers, coaches and officers lastly flew into largely virus-free Australia final month, sparking complaints from a few of them in regards to the situations they have been compelled to endure throughout their lockdown.

Whereas most gamers have been allowed out to coach for five-hour blocks, 72 have been confined to their lodge rooms 24 hours a day after eight constructive COVID-19 circumstances have been detected on the constitution flights. Spain’s Paula Badosa was the one participant amongst them.

Play started an hour early Friday with WTA clashes lowered to 2 units and a brilliant tiebreaker as a substitute of their typical three units to ease the backlog after Thursday’s suspension.

Serena Williams and world quantity ones Ashleigh Barty and Novak Djokovic have been amongst Friday’s winners, however Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin crashed out.

The Australian Open would be the third Grand Slam event held in the course of the pandemic, after final yr’s Wimbledon was cancelled, the French Open was delayed and the US Open befell behind closed doorways.

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