The Australian Open organizers have a piece of incredible news for the players. At the 2022 Australian Open, the officials plan to keep the players and coaches in a bio-secure bubble for two weeks instead of subjecting them to harsh hotel quarantine.
At this year’s Australian Open, players had to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel room because of the COVID-19 restrictions and had permission to train for just five hours daily.
Tennis – Australian Open – Men’s Singles Final – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 21, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his final match against Russia’s Daniil Medvedev. Crowds are at a reduced capacity for this years event following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake
In fact, around 70 players couldn’t leave their hotel room for the entire two-week quarantine period since their fellow passengers tested COVID-19 positive upon arrival. Poor quality of food, athletes complaining about preferential treatment given to top-ranked players, were among the barrage of complaints received by the tournament organizers.
Australian Open 2022: Players won’t have to undergo harsh quarantine
In a media interview, CEO of Tennis Australia, Craig Tiley, ensured the players won’t have to go through the same conditions again at the next year’s Australian Open.
“There’s a lot of time between now and when we get going, but at this point in time we’re planning on having a two-week bubble, where the players will be able to move freely between the hotel and the courts,” Tiley said.
Keeping the players within the bio-secure bubble would ensure their safety and allow them to train freely before the start of the Australian Open.
Tennis – ATP Cup – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 4, 2021 Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia speaks to media during a press conference. Play on Thursday was cancelled after a hotel quarantine worker in Melbourne returned a positive result for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Up to 600 players and support staff connected to the Australian Open will have to isolate until they have been tested. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
In addition, Tiley mentioned a plan is being chalked out with the Australian government to ascertain the crowd capacity and the tournament’s schedule.
“We’re working with the government and health authorities now on the amount of crowds and what the Australian Open will specifically look like,” Tiley said.
With Australia aiming to vaccinate 80 percent of adults by November, it would immensely help the tournament organizers and reduce the chances of a lockdown in Melbourne.
For the players, the latest announcement comes as a tremendous relief. With the world gradually coming to normalcy, the tournaments hopefully allow full crowds back in the stadium.