Australian Open chief Tiley confident Melbourne will play host in 2022

By Sports Desk May 17, 2021

Australian Open chief Craig Tiley is confident tennis' season-opening grand slam will take place in Melbourne next year despite suggestions the tournament may be played overseas.

The federal government in Australia is sticking to predictions that international borders will be closed until at least the middle of 2022, leaving the feasibility of hosting the Australian Open shrouded in doubt.

It has even been suggested in a recent ABC report that alternative destinations are being explored, with Dubai and Doha said to be being considered as potential venues.

But Tiley, speaking to RSN, believes the timeline on opening up borders will be altered in time for the tournament, which traditionally takes place in January.

"We're talking about two weeks of quarantine and the borders remaining closed until the middle of next year, but I'm an optimist," Tiley said.

"I think that's going to be too long. I think it's going to be brought forward because we're going to get on top of it with the vaccines and how we manage the virus.

"If we don't, we're going to be extremely challenged."

This year's tournament was blighted by logistical issues, with several players forced into quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus on chartered flights into Australia, while just days before the event was due to begin more than 500 players and officials were made to isolate after a worker at an Australian Open quarantine hotel tested positive for COVID-19.

Novak Djokovic, the men's singles champion in Melbourne, was chief among those critical of the conditions players had to endure.

"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 added.

"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."

Related items

  • Ruud into last 16 in Mallorca as Lajovic dumped out Ruud into last 16 in Mallorca as Lajovic dumped out

    Fifth seed Casper Ruud secured his place in the last 16 of the Mallorca Championships with a straight sets win over Gilles Simon on Monday.

    The 22-year-old claimed a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) victory to set up a meeting with Tennys Sandgren in the next round.

    Following Ruud onto Centre Court, the American beat Spain's Jaume Munar 7-6 (7-3) 7-5 in just over two hours.

    Sixth seed Karen Khachanov is also safely through, although he surrendered a set in beating French qualifier Lucas Pouille 7-6 (9-7) 3-6 6-4.

    But Dusan Lajovic, seeded eighth, was not quite as fortunate.

    Lajovic, ranked 41st in the world, was beaten 6-4 7-6 (7-2) by Slovakian qualifier Lukas Klein (ranked 256).

    Feliciano Lopez came out on top of battle of Spaniards in the round of 32, beating Nicola Kuhn 6-1 7-6 (7-4).

    Their compatriot Roberto Carballes Baena is in with a chance of joining them on Tuesday after seeing his clash with Sam Querrey paused due to light with both players having taken a set.

    Elsewhere, Corentin Moutet beat Lloyd Harris to set up a meeting with top seed Daniil Medvedev, while Jiri Vesely and Stefano Travaglia also progressed.

    Monday's other scheduled ATP event in Eastbourne saw play cancelled due to rain, with the scheduled match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Egor Gerasimov pushed back as a result.

  • Kvitova battles through in Bad Homburg, no play in Eastbourne Kvitova battles through in Bad Homburg, no play in Eastbourne

    Petra Kvitova came from a set down to beat Katarzyna Piter on her return from injury at the Bad Homburg Open, while no play was possible in Eastbourne on Monday due to rain.

    Kvitova withdrew from the French Open after suffering a freak ankle injury during her post-match media duties at Roland Garros.

    The two-time Wimbledon champion recovered to get her grass-court season under way in Germany and battled to a 4-6 6-1 6-4 over Polish outsider Piter.

    A week before the third grand slam of the year gets started at the All England Club, top seed Kvitova trailed 2-0 in the final set as she struggled with her serve, but broke three times to book a second-round meeting with Ann Li.

    Sloane Stephens withdrew ahead of her scheduled match with Laura Siegemund due to a foot injury. Riya Bhatia stepped in with Stephens absent, but Siegemund consigned her to a 2-6 7-6 (7-1) 6-1 defeat.

    Angelique Kerber needed only 50 minutes to see the back of Ekaterina Yashina 6-1 6-1 on home soil, grasping all five break-point opportunities.

    Kerber will do battle with Anna Blinkova in round two and Jessie Pegula's next assignment is an encounter with Katerina Siniakova following a 6-1 6-2 defeat of Amandine Hesse.

    Blinkova beat Clara Tauson 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 6-2, while Sara Sorribes Tormo saw off Martina Trevisan 6-4 3-6 6-2

    Miserable weather in Eastbourne prevented Karolina Pliskova, Madison Keys, Bianca Andreescu and Madison Keys from playing at the Viking International.

  • Italy's prime minister calls for Euro 2020 final to be moved from Wembley Italy's prime minister calls for Euro 2020 final to be moved from Wembley

    The prime minister of Italy has called for the Euro 2020 final to be moved from Wembley due to coronavirus concerns.

    Mario Draghi says the level of infection in the United Kingdom means alternative venues must be considered.

    "I will try to stop the final being held in a country where infections are rising quickly," he said on Monday when asked if Rome could be considered a possible replacement.

    Wembley is due to host five knockout matches, including both semi-finals and then the final on July 11. Italy will also play their last-16 game in London against Austria on June 26.

    Cases of COVID-19 have been increasing in recent weeks in the UK, fuelled by the Delta variant first identified in India, with a further 10,633 confirmed on Monday.

    There are also still strict travel restrictions in place, with almost all travellers required to quarantine for 10 days after entering the country.

    This is said to have prompted concerns among foreign officials, VIPs and media members who wish to attend knockout matches at England's national stadium.

    UEFA admitted last week that there was a "contingency plan" in place should it decide holding the final in London was impractical after reports suggested president Aleksander Ceferin was prepared to move the game to Budapest.

    However, it was reported in England on Monday that the UK government is prepared to allow a crowd of 60,000 people for the game – matching the proposed capacity from the Hungarian capital – while around 2,500 VIPs and media members could be exempt from having to quarantine after arriving for the fixture.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.