Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley says that the Australian summer of tennis is "more likely to go ahead than not”, in an interview to 7News. A few weeks ago, Tiley had made comments that the organization was scenario planning for the cancelation of the 2021 tournament as a worst-case scenario.
Currently, all tennis tournaments till the end of July have been suspended and the resumption of the tour in August depends on a number of factors and remains uncertain. Speaking to 7News, Tiley says that fans could also be present for the Australian summer tournaments in 2021.
“It will either be through crowds that are social distancing maybe only from Australia and New Zealand, or by then maybe some international crowds." “It’s hard to know but we are preparing for all of that.
We’re also preparing to scale back if we have to but the full plan is to have an Australian Open in January and to have our lead-in events”. Tiley also added that the tournament would be financially viable even if it were held without fans and that players are looking at Australia due to the way the country has managed the COVID-19 crisis there.
“The majority of players aren’t in the same category as your superstars and they’re not in a position where they can earn a living (without prize money), so they’re very anxious to get back tomorrow as long as it’s safe."
. “They are looking at Australia because they’re very confident about how we’ve managed the infection rate, and we have a lower mortality (rate). “They’re looking at that and feeling very positive about it.
Obviously we have to have some form of international travel to bring people but we’re pretty confident we’ll have some solution by then”. “(Players) are seeing the beginning of next year as the launch for the season and they’re looking towards that because it’s further enough away.
“I hope that’s not the case - I hope they get to play towards the end of this year ... we’d like to see the US Open and the French Open go ahead”.