Eurosport pundit and former world No 2 Alex Corretja fears the Australian Open is at risk of being cancelled following the recent coronavirus outbreak. A security guard at one of the tournament’s hotels tested positive for COVID-19 and around 600 people, including 160 players, have been forced to quarantine.
The Australian Open draw was supposed to take place this morning but that has been pushed back by 24 hours.
Melbourne Park has been hosting six warm-up events this week but all of Thursday’s play was cancelled.
Tournament director Craig Tiley insists that the first Grand Slam of the season will go ahead as usual on Monday.
Mass testing is taking place today to check if the coronavirus has spread to anybody else.
However, Corretja thinks it would be a ‘miracle’ if the event goes ahead.
“We have to stay tight over the next few days but I think the tournament is in a little bit of a risk at the moment,” Corretja told Express Sport.
“It looks like if the tournament is going to happen it is going to be a miracle.
“The situation in Australia is different to most parts of the world so they are making a great effort but that means you have to play by the rules.
“They don’t want to ruin everything they have been doing for so many months.
It would be a huge shock if the Australian Open were to pull the plug on the event, especially after all of the tournaments players, staff and officials have been flown in.
However, there is precedent of this happening previously.
The 2020 F1 Australian Grand Prix was cancelled two days before the race during the peak of the coronavirus outbreak.
Melbourne has got a lot better with dealing with the killer virus and their quick response to this recent positive test may be enough to keep the competition on schedule.
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Published at Thu, 04 Feb 2021 11:09:00 +0000