Australian Open faces delay

The Australian Open is staring down a delay of one or two weeks in 2021, potentially starting on January 25 or February 1st due to COVID restrictions.

Talks have been underway between talks between the Victorian government, health officials and Tennis Australia.

“There’s a number of potential dates on the table. I’ve seen reports that suggest that it’s likely to be delayed by a week or two. I think that’s still most likely,” Victorian sports and tourism minister, Martin Pakula said. “But it’s not the only option. As you know, the French Open was delayed by many months and Wimbledon didn’t occur at all.

“I still think it’s much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay. I don’t want to unduly repeat myself but these are very complex negotiations.”

Players are likely to be allowed to practice while serving a two-week quarantine, but the start date will depend on whether or not the players insist on a lead-up tournament in the week prior to the first grand slam tournament of the year.

Such a delay would actually push the Men and Women’s Finals into the 2021 survey year (February 7) which would frankly be a blockbuster for Nine, but potentially wreak havoc on Seven and 10 plans.

Source: WWOS, The Guardian

7 Comments:

  1. Nine don’t want the Tennis in ratings, they want it before ratings to promote MAFS, which is why they poached it off Seven. Reportedly Nine has already complained, threatened to refuse to pay and sue for breach of contract, as Seven has done over this season’s Cricket calendar.

    Tennis players need to quarantine for 14 days and train and practice everyday to to get fit for a new season. Other countries just allow them to test negative then stay in a bubble between their hotel, gym and the courts. Australia having just eliminated community transmission for the second time can’t risk that. At we are down the queue for vaccines so that couldn’t happen before May but that’s the French Open. So far players are refusing to quarantine in a hotel room so the Open may be cancelled.

      • Agree with David. Not sure where Pertinax is coming from/sourcing his info, especially that first paragraph? So you’re saying over 1.9m metro and Nine are like “meh, whatever, we only air this for MAFS”. I don’t think so, especially if the tournament lands in Q1, it then becomes official programming!

        As for any “refusal to pay” or “breach of contract”, it hasn’t even been cancelled and all rolling reports are pointing to positive signs. Seven’s with cricket was because they were angry with the quality, believe they over-paid and stems back to last summer’s poor ratings (I read Seven want it and Olympics both terminated and refunded as best outcomes). Only statement I saw from Nine was a publicist in a newspaper saying “we have full faith in TA / Craig Tiley”, “we would hope for a January AO as in the contract” or something. Etc etc. Maybe you misinterpreted that?

        • It was reported in the SMH media section over a week ago.

          Yesterday ATP put out a statement that players would be allowed to play in Quarantine, which could start from 8th January, only delaying the start 1 week. However, Tennis Australia followed with statement saying 14 days quarantine inside was still mandatory, the Federal Government was committed to bringing back 35,000 Australians and no space on flights, quarantine arrangements or practice arrangements had been approved by either Victoria or Canberra yet.

  2. Some of the comments coming from the players are very concerning, they do not share Australia’s attitude towards covid. hopefully there are no compromises made towards quarantine and penalties for breaches.

    • harrypotter1994

      While I don’t agree with everything the players are saying they have been dealing with bubble life since September so they have some idea of what to expect.

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