Tennis

Roger Federer committed to Australian Open: Tournament director Tiley

The world's top tennis players, including 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, are expected to be in Melbourne for the coronavirus-disrupted Australian Open, said tournament director Craig Tiley.

The opening Grand Slam of the year, in front of at least 50 per cent of normal crowds, has been pushed back three weeks until Feb 8 with all players to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival.

The delay could be pivotal for Federer, who admitted last week he was in a "race against time" to be fit as his recovery from two rounds of knee surgery takes longer than expected.

Tiley said he had been in touch with the 39-year-old, who was in the midst of his normal pre-season training routine in Dubai.

"Every player, including Roger, has made a commitment to travel to Melbourne to play," he said, adding that Federer will need to see how he responds to his surgery in the next two to three weeks of training.

SPECIAL CHARTER FLIGHTS

The men and women's qualifiers will be held in Doha and Dubai respectively from Jan 10-13, with players arriving in Melbourne from Jan 15 on special charter flights for their quarantine.

Tiley said they would constantly be tested for Covid-19, but allowed to train for five hours a day in a bio-secure bubble, although with just one other player.

A slimmed-down, 12-team ATP Cup, the relocated Adelaide International, and an ATP 250 tournament will all be played in Melbourne once players are out of isolation. - AFP

Tennis