Director Tiley: Australian Open to go ahead despite Covid-19 case

The Australian Open will begin as scheduled on Monday even though a worker at one of the Melbourne hotels used to quarantine players and their entourages tested positive for Covid-19, tournament director Craig Tiley said yesterday.

All warm-up matches at Melbourne Park yesterday were called off after the case was announced late on Wednesday, and those who underwent quarantine at the Grand Hyatt hotel were instructed to get tested and isolate until they had a result.

"We're absolutely confident the Australian Open will go ahead. We are starting on Monday," said Tiley, who added that of the 507 people affected, 160 of them were players and they would have their tests completed by late yesterday.

If the results are negative, the players would be free to participate in the six warm-up events at the venue of the Grand Slam to allow them to get some match practice after 14 days in quarantine. The draw for the tournament will be made today.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal has doubts over his fitness, saying he was still far away from the level required to play at the year's first Grand Slam.

"It's not that I'm in a really bad way, but I'm also not all right in the sense that I can't play either," Nadal said. - AFP, REUTERS