Saturday, January 9, 2021

World’s top tennis players to participate in exhibition matches in Adelaide ahead of Australian Open

World's top tennis players to participate in exhibition matches in Adelaide ahead of Australian Open

Adelaide will host some of the world’s best tennis players in the lead-up to this year’s Australian Open.

Players from more than 100 countries will arrive into Australia on chartered flights funded by Tennis Australia before beginning their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

With all lead-up tournaments being played in Melbourne this year due to COVID-19, the vast majority of players and their entourage will isolate in Melbourne.

But with 1,270 people arriving, Tennis Australia has been forced to find an alternative location for some, with Victoria only allowing a certain number of people to be in hotel quarantine.

“We approached the South Australian Government about the possibility of them quarantining at least 50 people,” Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley told the Tennis Channel.

“The Premier there agreed to host 50 people in a quarantine bubble and have those players play an exhibition.

“So we chose — which is the best way to do it — the top three men and top three women and they’ll play an exhibition on January 29 and 30 and they’ll go to Adelaide and be able to quarantine.”

World number one Novak Djokovic playing in the French Open in October (Reuters: Christian Hartmann)

Players in both Adelaide and Melbourne will be under the same quarantine conditions, granted five hours each day outside of their hotel room to train, with strict measures put in place.

Those in Adelaide will play exhibition matches across January 29 and 30, before tournaments commence in Melbourne on the 31st.

The first match of the Australian Open will be played on February 8.

Premier Steven Marshall said hosting the event would “showcase just how well South Australia has done with the coronavirus”.

“We have been working with Tennis Australia, SA Health and SA Police to be able to bring in a very small number of the top seeds to play a lead-up match at Memorial Drive,” he said.

Tennis Australia and Tennis South Australia declined to comment.

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