Tennis

Oz Open delayed to February 8: report

The Australian Open tennis Grand Slam will start three weeks late on February 8, reports said on Wednesday, with players cleared to train during quarantine following lengthy negotiations with state authorities.

According to Australian media, the start date was announced to players by tournament director Craig Tiley. If confirmed, it will join the three other major tournaments in being disrupted by the coronavirus.

Protracted talks

Tennis Australia has been in protracted talks with Victoria state authorities in Melbourne, which only emerged from a months-long lockdown in October following a second wave of cases.

Great news

“It's taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the AO (Australian Open) on 8 February,” Tiley was quoted as telling players in a leaked letter.

“Players will have to quarantine for two weeks from 15 January, but the Victorian government has agreed to special conditions for AO participants — agreeing that they need to be able to prepare for a Grand Slam.”

Under the plan, players who test negative for the virus will be able to train while in isolation, Tiley wrote. Tennis Australia did not confirm the reports on Wednesday, and said plans were still awaiting approval from the state government.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 11:02:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/oz-open-delayed-to-february-8-report/article33234207.ece

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