MELBOURNE: Tennis Australia (TA) will decide next week whether it can stage the ATP Cup and other tournaments around the country or confine them to one city in the lead-up to the Australian Open in January, local media reported on Thursday.
The inaugural ATP Cup was held in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane in January but TA is considering holding the whole event in Melbourne depending on government restrictions related to COVID-19.
"Players will come in the middle of December and it will be two weeks (of quarantine) before the summer, and then they'll have four-five weeks of being able to play tennis at Melbourne if it's all the events," TA boss Craig Tiley told Fairfax media.
"If not it will be events in other cities and then the Australian Open."
Organisers of Australian Open warmup tournaments in Brisbane, Adelaide and Canberra have said they are still planning for their tournaments to go ahead as scheduled.
"We're doing everything we can to do that – we're working with government, we're working with SA (South Australia) Health," Adelaide International tournament director Alistair MacDonald said on Thursday.
Tiley said TA had requested players be allowed to compete at tournaments while undertaking mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving in Australia but the governing body had not yet received approval from authorities.
"The objectives will be to protect the community, so the players while they're training will only go from their hotel room to the courts, and then back to the hotel room in a secure protected environment," he said.
"There will obviously be significant testing in that bubble. Our objective will be to make it the safest and securest bubble anywhere in the world."
COVID-19 infections have slowed to a trickle in Australia but domestic and international travel restrictions remain in place. –Reuters