Australian Open boss Craig Tiley has refuted a report the 2022 tournament could be moved overseas due to player issues with quarantine, declaring it will be in Melbourne.
A report on Monday said with border closures set to continue into 2022, player disquiet with having to quarantine in Australia could force the tournament to be moved to Doha or Dubai.
It was reported players would not be willing to go into hard quarantine in Australia in order to compete as they did this year.
This year players have been able to operate in a bubble at tournaments around the world, where quarantine has not been required.
But Tiley, while aware of the challenges organisers face in navigating quarantine issues, is adamant the Australian Open will be staged in Melbourne.
“We’re going to be here in Melbourne, we are going to make it work, it’s going to be in January,” Tiley said at a SportNXT launch on Monday morning.
“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.”
if the Australian Open is played off shore say like Dubai…does it still make it the Australian Open or the Dubai Open…just saying
Tiley said all the experiences gained in putting on the 2021 Open, which was forced back two weeks and played without spectators early, would only help stage the event next year.
“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.
“We felt like we climbed Mount Everest, and unfortunately now we’ve found ourselves back at base camp.
“But the one positive thing is that we at least have a path because we have done it once.”
Australian Grand Prix chief executive Andrew Westacott was just as positive about the race going ahead in Melbourne later this year despite facing similar challenges with quarantine for drivers and teams.
“I’m always confident,” he said.
“That’s what we’ve got to do, we’ve got to find solutions.”
The Grand Prix was the first sporting event cancelled in Australia last year when the pandemic broke out.
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