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Australian Open could be CANCELLED as tennis authorities prepare for ‘worst case scenario’  

Australian Open could be CANCELLED next year as tennis authorities prepare for ‘worst case scenario’ amid Covid-19 crisis but A-League plans to complete their season in August with all games played in Sydney

  • Australian Open organisers fear next year’s tournament could be cancelled
  • Plans are being drawn up for ‘worst case scenario’ that Slam doesn’t happen
  • Melbourne event could be staged with only Australian fans amid Covid fears
  • Australian FA wants to restart and complete the A-League season in August
  • Five rounds of regular campaign remain plus end-of-season Finals 
  • All the games could be played in Sydney in effort to get the season completed 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Australian Open organisers are bracing themselves for a ‘worst case scenario’ of the Slam being cancelled next year as plans are drawn up Down Under for the football A-League to be restarted and finished within a month.

With the Covid-19 pandemic causing the shutdown of sport around the world, there are already fears that high-profile events next year could fall victim.

Tennis Australia chief and Australian Open director Craig Tiley has admitted the first Slam of the year, held in Melbourne every January, may not happen in 2021.

The Australian Open, where the men’s singles was won by Novak Djokovic in 2020, may not happen next year because of the Covid-19 pandemic

Sofia Kenin won the women's singles event in Melbourne back in early February this year

Sofia Kenin won the women’s singles event in Melbourne back in early February this year

‘Worst case scenario is no AO (Australian Open),’ he said. ‘Out best case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans.’

This year’s Australian Open was staged but proved one of the final tennis tournaments held so far with the ATP and WTA Tours suspended potentially until next year.

Tiley added: ‘There’s four scenarios and we’ve modelled everything. We’ve modelled the times we have to make decisions, dates we have to make decisions, who it impacts, how it’s going to impact them.

‘We’ve done that for 670 staff. We’ve done that for all of our partners – our media partners, our sponsors and for all the governments and places we rent facilities (from).

‘And now we’re working on the international playing group and getting them to understand what each of those scenarios are and what it means for them and how we can action it.’

Matches at next year's Australian Open could be staged without international spectators

Matches at next year’s Australian Open could be staged without international spectators 

Wimbledon has already been cancelled, while the French Open could now be held in late September. A decision on whether to push ahead with the US Open is due by June.

Meanwhile, the A-League season could be restarted and completed all within the month of August.

Clubs in Australian football’s top division are planning to return to training in July though Football Federation Australia (FFA) is yet to outline firm dates.

Adelaide United football director Bruce Djite says the five remaining rounds of the regular season, plus the Finals, could be condensed into a single month with all games likely to be played in Sydney.

The A-League, won by Sydney last season, could be restarted and completed all in August

The A-League, won by Sydney last season, could be restarted and completed all in August

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is the manager of A-League club Brisbane Roar

Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler is the manager of A-League club Brisbane Roar

‘My understanding is they (FFA) want the season completed by the end of August,’ Djite said. ‘So mathematically, three games a week…you could knock it out in four or five weeks.

‘Then you work back from that and say you need at least four, five weeks training, so you’re looking at late June, early July. But there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge.

‘The PFA (Professional Footballers Australia) has got to sit down with the FFA and the clubs and nut out what that cost base is going to be for the players and, logistically, all those sorts of things.

‘There’s still a lot of unknowns.’



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