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Australian Open looks for 2021 event to run at half capacity

Australian Open looks for 2021 event to run at half capacity
October 4, 2020

Tennis Australia Chief Executive, Craig Tiley has advised of his expectation that Melbourne Park will accommodate crowd numbers up to 50% of those welcomed at previous editions for the 2021 Australian Open.

Speaking on the Nine Network’s Sports Sunday, Tiley outlined how he expects the 2020/21 ‘sumer of tennis’ to  be an extended version of previous years, with six weeks of tennis in the plans.

Advising that tennis stars Serena Williams and Roger Federer have confirmed their participation, after Federer opted out of the US Open and the French Open, Tiley (pictured below) stated “for them (US Open and French Open) to go ahead and be successful in an environment with countries where the infection rate is really high, the US Open with no crowds and the French with small crowds, we’re certainly going to be taking away some of their successes.

“We’re all go for what’s going to be a great start to the year.

“We’ve also worked out with the requirements on physical distancing, we’ve still got to stay in certain physical parameters and we’ve worked out what that would be and we’re going to have crowds anywhere between 25-50% of what we’ve had before.

“All the areas that have retractable roofs will remain outdoor arenas.

“It’s a very outdoor site … the size of the site and the way we can physically distance people, we will enjoy having quite a fair crowd.

Tiley also explained some of the biosecurity measures Tennis Australia will likely introduce for players, after discussions with the NRL and AFL over their measures.

He added “we’ve been talking to them every week, on Friday night, we were on a call with all the women’s players going through what it means.

“We’re going to have six weeks of tennis, more tennis and events than ever before.

“We’re going to start around December when all the players will come in for two weeks of quarantine in cities around Australia and for those two weeks, we’re creating a bubble from the hotel to the courts in a training environment not too dissimilar with the AFL and NRL.

“By then, we expect the border to be completely open and we can move from city to city and then come down to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

“There are going to be more events, more tennis for people to watch not only in Australia, but around the world and our goal is to keep getting more people to watch.

“Roger (Federer) this morning confirmed publicly that he’ll be here (and) Serena Williams will be here, obviously trying to get Margaret Court’s record.

“We’re excited about the players that will be here and what we are putting on.”

Over 800,000 fans the 2020 Australian Open.

The 2021 event is scheduled to run from Monday 18th to Sunday 31st January.

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3rd July 2020 - Tennis Australia commits to staging 2021 Australian Open in Melbourne

4th February 2020 - Australian Open 2020 welcomes largest ever tournament crowds

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28th January 2020 - Australian tennis great Margaret Court honoured at Australian Open

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5th September 2017 - Gemba Chief Executive calls for a fifth tennis Grand Slam in China

14th September 2020 - Tennis Australia announces Paula Robinson to lead new Gender Equality National Taskforce

31st October 2019 - Ash Barty backs Tennis Australia campaign to encourage teenage girls to stay in sport

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25th July 2019 - Tennis Australia to change hardcourt surface for Australian OpenĀ 

9th September 2019 - Latest stage of Melbourne Park redevelopment now complete

11th September 2020 - Victorian Government plans look at venues reopening from 26th October

2nd September 2020 - MCG secures AFL Grand Final contract extension

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