While fans still wonder whether there will be any tennis this year, the Australian Open organisers are preparing for their 2021 edition by putting in place contingency plans of plying it behind closed doors.
There is just so much uncertainty as to what is going to happen in the next month let alone the next eight months Craig Tiley
With both Tours suspended until July 13 pending a review it meant Wimbledon was cancelled with the French Open announcing it would be staged late in September.
The US Open is still scheduled for its traditional date but its doubtful whether the USTA will go ahead with it as there is no guarantee that the ATP and WTA will reactivate their respective tours in July.
Tennis Australia CEO and Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley had previously conceded that it “is going to be tough” for tennis to “come back this year”.
As a result Tiley has now revealed that they are examining “many scenarios” for next year’s event just in case the sport is still struggling with the aftermath of Covid-19 at the start of the 2021 season.
“There is just so much uncertainty as to what is going to happen in the next month let alone the next eight months,” he said in a statement.
“These extraordinary times dictate a need for agility and extensive planning that explores a very wide range of options.
“We have to be prepared for a changed environment. We obviously hope that as a community, we are through Covid-19 as quickly and safely as is possible. But we don’t know which of the current measures being used to try and contain the spread of infection will still need to be in place for the medium to long term.
“For example, with such a high-dependency on international travel we are looking at what we might have to do if players need to be quarantined for any length of time before being allowed to freely move around Australia.
“Another example is if mass gatherings are still not allowed or severely restricted next year, we are looking at the possibility of running an event for broadcast. These are just two of many scenarios we have to examine.”
Coronavirus still has sport in its grip and it doesn’t look like it will ease up on it for some time yet.