Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley is working with the government as he is hoping the new COVID-19 variant Omicron won't spoil the summer of tennis. A week ago, the Australian Open confirmed only fully vaccinated players will be allowed to compete at Melbourne Park.
The Omicron variant may be the biggest challenge facing the tournament but Tiley insists they're ready for challenges. "We knew when we announced the event there would be some more challenges - that's just the nature of the world we've been living in for the past two years," Tiley told Nine's Sports Sunday.
"We're still waiting. I've been talking to the government... there's still a lot of unanswered questions around this [new COVID-19 variant]. "I think in the next 14 days we will have some clarity, but at this point, the plans are going ahead as they are.
"We're looking forward to 100 per cent capacity crowd... the first charter flight arrives on the 28th of December."
Tiley, the Australian Open still seeking answers
"There's still a lot to play out. There's a lot of unanswered questions, which we will hopefully get to soon," Tiley added.
"But at this point, everything is as it was two days ago." Meanwhile, one of the biggest topics regarding the Australian Open remains the participation of world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. After it was made official that the Australian Open would mandate vaccination, Djokovic refused to reveal his vaccination status and confirm his participation.
"He has not shared his status with anyone," Tiley told SEN. "He believes that what you say about your medical position and status is private, and he believes people should have the right to choose. "We have made it very clear that coming to play the Australian Open, the requirement is to be vaccinated – and approved vaccines, as well."