'Make it work': Australian Open boss responds to bombshell report

·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has denied reports the 2022 tournament will be held overseas. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has denied reports the 2022 tournament will be held overseas. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Craig Tiley has refuted reports the Australian Open could be held offshore, amid talk star players are unwilling to commit to the mandatory two week quarantine upon arrival.

An ABC report speculated the tournament could be moved to either Doha or Dubai to avoid the two week isolation period, which Australian Open boss Craig Tiley strongly disputed.

'GOING TO KILL US': Rafa Nadal savages chair umpire in ugly moment

BRILLIANT: Djokovic's epic act for Nadal after Italian Open final

The ATP and WTA have instituted a 'bubble' for tournaments in 2021, with players free to move inside that bubble in countries where quarantine has not been a requirement.

A majority of players on tour, including Australia's Ash Barty, have been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Speaking about the report on Monday morning, Tiley vowed the tournament would go ahead in Melbourne as usual.

“We’re going to be here in Melbourne, we are going to make it work, it’s going to be in January,” he said at a Sport NXT launch.

“We’re going to find a way to get the players here who are currently travelling the world in a bubble.

“We are the only country where quarantine is required. We’ve got a find a way to manage that and we will.”

The 2021 Australian Open was held successfully in Melbourne, with players undergoing quarantine in Melbourne and Adelaide and playing the majority of the tournament with fans in the stands, with the exception of a few days following an outbreak scare in Victoria.

Tiley said the experience of running the 2021 tournament under those conditions would hold them in good stead for the 2022 Open.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

“I learned a lot every single day about managing uncertainty,” he said.

“The two enemies, mass gatherings and international travel, COVID doesn’t allow those two things to happen, and those are the pillars of our success.

“Being able to get around that was a challenge.

“There’s lots of speculation about 2022, and it’s same journey we are going to go on. It’s going to be a ride."

Organisers of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix are facing similar difficulties surrounding quarantine arrangements for the 10 teams and multitude of associated staff ahead of the rescheduled race at Albert Park in November.

Quarantine concerns hover over major sporting events

Several players were highly critical of the conditions they experienced in preparation for the tournament.

Novak Djokovic, the undisputed king of Melbourne Park, said during this year's Open he believed most players would rather see the tennis season cancelled than endure more strict quarantine.

"The players have been travelling around the world in a bubble so there's no place in the world anymore where there's quarantine requirements for them and so they're used to certain conditions," Tiley said.

'We (in Australia) still have this 14-day requirement but of course the positive is we don't have any community transmission of the virus."

While the Australian Open organisers will focus on convincing players to commit to quarantine arrangements, organisers of the Australian GP face larger obstacles in getting 10 F1 teams into the country.

Each of the teams bring with them a large number of staff, including drivers, pit crews, and other support staff.

Originally slated to go ahead in March, the Australian GP was delayed until November, two weeks after the Brazilian GP.

However the worsening coronavirus situation in Brazil has led to speculation the Australian GP may not go ahead unless the prior event is cancelled.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Australian Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott said they were committed to overcoming the challenge of finding suitable arrangements for the race to go ahead.

“I’m always confident,” he said.

“That’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to find solutions.”

The 2020 Australian Grand Prix was one of the first major international sporting events to be cancelled in the early stages of the pandemic, after a McLaren team member tested positive to the coronavirus two days before the race.

With AAP

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.