Australian Open boss Craig Tiley thinks it will take three or four years for Grand Slam tennis to return to some form of normality after the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2021 edition of the Melbourne even is scheduled to go ahead in late January but there may still be no crowds, even though Tiley has pushed for a reduced capacity.
“I’m of the view that these current adjustments will last longer than we think,” he told the London Daily Mail.
“We are already talking about different Australian Open scenarios for 2022, because we don’t think we will be repeating 2020 until at least 2023 or 2024.
“That’s how we are managing our risks and our cash flow. Professionally we need to be realistic and manage players’ expectations on money and opportunity and make sure that events can be sustainable for the future.”
And Tiley conceded that prize money may be reduced as a result of revenue changes.
“The reality is the money that is going to be available will be significantly compromised,” he said.
“I think the stronger events will survive, and those that were carrying a heavy financial load will not. It’s unrealistic to think that it’s not going to change. Even if you had a vaccine in March it is still going to be challenging for half of next year.”
Tennis Australia has already said it would be open to hosting additional ATP and WTA Tour events in 2021 after the Melbourne slam.