Australian Open 2021: Melbourne lockdown leaves tennis followers fuming and pissed off

Australian Open 2021: Melbourne lockdown leaves tennis followers fuming and pissed off

The match will proceed regardless of the mini-outbreak and lockdown, albeit with none crowds. This is able to be very similar to the US Open and French Open which had been held in direction of the tip of final season.

Simply as bigger crowds started to trickle again into Melbourne Park after a couple of quiet days, Melburnians’ worst concern got here true because the state authorities introduced a “circuit breaker” five-day lockdown for the whole state, efficient from midnight tonight. The lockdown, introduced by State Premier Dan Andrews, is in response to 13 instances of neighborhood transmission of the UK pressure of COVID-19 that unfold by way of the Vacation Inn resort in Melbourne.

The primary case that emerged from the resort was introduced final week and has grown since then.

The match will proceed regardless of the mini-outbreak and lockdown, albeit with none crowds. This is able to be very similar to the US Open and French Open which had been held in direction of the tip of final season.

Which means the blockbuster encounter between Dominic Thiem and Nick Kyrgios may probably be the final match of the match to have crowds current. Whereas the lockdown is scheduled to finish at midnight on Wednesday, there isn’t a affirmation that crowds could be allowed for the semi-finals and ultimate.

Followers who bought tickets for the subsequent 5 days will now have to observe their favorite stars on TV. Richard (final title redacted on request), who was current with a bunch of associates, had tickets for every day of the match.

Australian Open 2021 Melbourne lockdown leaves tennis fans fuming and frustrated

Richard (second from proper) and his associates having fun with one final day of the Australian Open. Picture: Rajdeep Puri/Alenz

He was left fuming because the lockdown was introduced and visibly confirmed his frustration when requested about his ideas on the lockdown.

“I’m bitterly upset and gutted. Somebody must be held accountable for the choice that has been made, and for the state of affairs that we’re in proper now. It’s completely unacceptable,” he stated.

“What number of occasions can we return into lockdown? In the event you had a toddler and so they saved spelling the identical phrase improper, what would you do? You’d do one thing completely different. It’s unacceptable. I’ve bought all of the tickets now and I used to be going to see the most effective on the planet play. I’m very upset,” he stated.

For context, residents of Melbourne will face an especially harsh lockdown for 5 days, very similar to they did for nearly 4 months final yr. Which means individuals will probably be allowed to go away their properties just for 4 causes – important work, important procuring, caregiving, and train. Nobody can journey greater than 5 kilometres from their home and can’t go to different individuals’s homes as nicely.

Lina Zuccarelli, an ardent tennis fan, had tickets to attend the Australian Open on Sunday, 14 February, alongside together with her brother. Nonetheless, because of the lockdown, they can’t attend the match.

“I’m upset. We purchased member pre-sale member tickets and organised a day nicely prematurely, in December as soon as the dates had been confirmed. I used to be excited and searching ahead to it as I hadn’t been to a sporting occasion in a very long time. My brother is actually offended that the tickets have been cancelled. He has been working actually onerous and had purchased tickets to the tennis to deal with himself,” Zuccarelli stated.

When requested in regards to the authorities’s response to the continued COVID-19 cluster, she felt that the restrictions had been harsh however required.

“I don’t suppose Stage 4 restrictions had been essential however they (authorities and public well being workforce) have extra info than us. They actually emphasised the UK pressure immediately and that makes us fear about how a lot worse it’s that we’ve to return into Stage 4. I want crowds may go watch the match however that may be defeating the aim of the lockdown.”

Beneath the Stage 4 restrictions, the federal government introduced that solely important staff ought to be going into work whereas the remainder of the employees must both work at home or pause their work.

“Tennis gamers are undoubtedly not important staff,” Zuccarelli stated.

“If something, I might have delayed the match by one other week. The competitors was already delayed within the first place so they need to have postponed it by one other week and the individuals who had their tickets may preserve their tickets,” she stated.

For now, followers who’ve tickets for Friday’s matches will hope to soak it multi function final time earlier than going again into lockdown. There will probably be no scarcity of leisure tonight as fan-favourite Kyrgios appears to topple world No 3 and US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

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