Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley has confirmed the Australian Open will go ahead as scheduled despite 47 players being forced into hard lockdown after positive COVID-19 cases.
The event was in question on Saturday after positive cases were detected on two charter flights carrying players into Melbourne.
fficials said two passengers on a flight from Los Angeles who arrived on Friday tested positive, along with one passenger who traveled in from Abu Dhabi.
None of those who tested positive were players, although one is thought it to be a member of a player’s entourage.
Australia’s Department of Health and Human Services said those aboard the flights were considered “close contacts” of those with the virus, and they would be confined to hotel bedrooms for two weeks.
Isolating players are unable to leave their hotel rooms for 14 days until they are medically cleared.
“It’s not something we wanted to happen,” Tiley said when asked if the event would be postponed.
“We were hoping every flight would be OK. We’re in this situation, we have to deal with it.
“The Australian Open is going ahead and we’ll continue to do the best we can possibly do to ensure those players, who are not in a great position, find it somewhat acceptable.
“We’re planning on February 8, we do have that buffer time in there. We’re looking forward to welcoming fans to the Australian Open. Ticket sales have been going well, we’ve got two weeks of great tennis and our intention is to continue with those dates.”