— Published 25 November 2020

Towards a postponement of the Australian Open

Will the Australian Open tennis be postponed? The organisers of the tournament, Tennis Australia, are giving themselves another ten days to announce their decision. But Martin Pakula, Victoria’s Minister of Sport, may have sold off. After explaining that negotiations between the political authorities and Tennis Australia were about to be concluded, he said: “Different dates are on the table. I read somewhere that the start of the tournament is likely to be delayed by a week or two. I think that is most likely what will happen. But that’s not the only option. As you know, the French Open was postponed for several months and Wimbledon was canceled. I still believe that the time frame is more likely to be short, not long. I don’t want to repeat myself, but these are very complex negotiations. The next edition of the first Grand Slam trick is normally scheduled to start on January 18th. Victoria has been hit hard by a second wave of COVID-19, causing a long lockdown in Melbourne, imposition of a curfew and restrictions on movement. But the state has not recorded any coronavirus-related deaths since October 28. Last week, Tennis Australia announced that early-in-the-year tournaments, usually held in Brisbane, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide, will instead take place in the state of Victoria to avoid any conflict over domestic border restrictions from Australia.