Price Of Covid-19: Delayed Australian Open Will Be Costly

WASHINGTON, December 2, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

The headline that came across Twitter news timelines on Tuesday had an ominous tone to it: “Tennis may have to borrow millions for Australian Open.” In a story written by John Stensholt for the Australian.com, we learn that a delayed Australian Open could cost more than $100 million, accounts say.

Stensholt reports:

“Tennis Australia is staring at a $100m financial blow this summer and could borrow tens of millions of dollars to pay for bio security measures that it hopes will ensure the Australian Open goes ahead.

“The huge costs of housing hundreds of elite tennis players in January and February will also see the governing body take a big hit to its balance sheet, including potentially spending a large amount or even all of the $80m reserve it has build up over several years.

“Tennis Australia will spend $40m covering the costs of bio security protocols and falling revenue for hosting a delayed Australian Open in early 2021, and brood some or all of that sums as a result.”

Read Stensholt’s entire story:

A message from Craig Tiley

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Tennis Australia’s CEO Craig Tiley posted a statement on his Twitter account: “Tennis Australia continues to work closely and productively with the Victorian Government and we are confident we will be in a position to finalize details for Australian Open 2021 very soon.

“We are also in constant communication with the global tennis community, including the Tours, the players and their teams, as we consult with them on plans for the event and how players can safely practice. And prepare for a Grand Slam tournament under the Victorian Government’s proposed quarantine conditions.”

Read Tiley’s entire statement:

L’Equipe: February 8 start for Australian Open

According to French sports daily L’Equipe, the Sydney Morning Herald Wednesday morning reported that the Australian Open “could be pushed back to February 8-21, with players and their support staff tested five times for COVID-19 and allowed out of quarantine to train for up to five hours a day in a bio secure Melbourne Park bubble.

“Negotiations between Tennis Australia, the Victorian government and the ATP and WTA are continuing.”

L’Equipe stated that the Victorian government’s proposal to manage the Australian Open quarantine would include:

• Arrival in Australia between January 15-17.

• Players and their teams would be subject to “bubble” quarantine through January 31, regardless of arrival date.

• No one can spend more than five hours outside their hotel room daily and this time would be restricted to on-court training, gym work or receiving treatment.

• At Melbourne Park, a player can only be escorted by one individual (but not necessarily the same individual each day).

• Training pairs to be formed, with two players (and their two accompanying staff) to train only with each other throughout the two weeks of quarantine with the stipulation that if any of those four then test positive for COVID-19, they will be quarantined in their rooms for 14 days following the positive test.

• Coronavirus testing would be scheduled for the first, third, seventh, 10th and 14th days of their quarantine.

Read entire Sydney Morning Herald story:

The RF logo cap is back!

It’s been two and one-half years since Roger Federer left iconic U.S. apparel giant Nike for Japanese casual wear designer Uniqlo. However, on Tuesday, Federer posted on his social media platforms that his famous RF logo cap is (finally) back – just in time for the holidays.

Laura Robson – First hit in a year

Great Britain’s Laura Robson is only 26. If it seems like she’s been around forever, that’s because in 2008 at age 14 she won the Wimbledon junior girls’ title and reached No. 27 in the world rankings in 2013. Now, she’s trying to come back from a hip injury and surgery she had last December to repair the damage.

Words of encouragement from Elina Svitolina

Off-season – Felix Auger-Aliassime

Recently, Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime shared his yoga workout for the benefit of his 242,000 Instagram followers.

What they’re podcasting

On the latest Tennis.com podcast, hosts Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi talk with Vasek Pospisil on all things PTSA and more.

What they’re sharing on social media

Simona Halep / My kind of pre-season training

Barbora Krejcikova / Soaking in the Vitamin Sea

Karolina Muchova / Ready to get back to work