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Players Can Compete in 2023 Australian Open if Covid-Positive

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Players Can Compete in 2023 Australian Open if Covid-Positive

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Last Updated: January 09, 2023, 14:08 IST

Novak Djokovic being deported from Australia (AP)

Novak Djokovic being deported from Australia (AP)

Players wouldn’t be required to report constructive assessments for Covid-19 however Tournament Director Craig Tiley stated gamers could be inspired to remain away if in poor health

Players at 2023 Australian Open is not going to be required to take Covid-19 assessments, the match officers have confirmed. But advisable those that felt unwell, keep at residence.

“We’ve made it clear to our players, as well as our over 12,000 staff. We ask … if anyone is feeling unwell, stay home,” said Tournament Director Craig Tiley was quoted as saying by News.com.au on Monday.

Tiley also pointed out Australian batter Matt Renshaw, who played in the final Test against South Africa after a positive test. “It’s a normalised environment for us and, not dissimilar to cricket, there will potentially be players that will compete with Covid,” he said.

“We have gone a step further by making a recommendation around staying away when you’re ill, and that our medical staff – Dr Karen Holzer is the best in the business – she will continue to monitor that, with the players individually as well,” he added.

Last year, due to Australian Government’s strict Covid policy Serbian star Novak Djokovic was deported from the country over his anti-vaccination status.

January Too Early?

Tournament director Craig Tiley has described as “ridiculous” and “bizarre” requires the timing of the Australian Open to be modified to permit gamers an extended low season.

Tiley was responding to an Australian media report which suggested the first Grand Slam of the season might be moved away from January and the height of the Australian summer.

“I did read that. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous – a bizarre claim,” Tiley said. “You talk to every player, this is the season. It starts in January. It starts here in Australia.”

Tiley was speaking during an event at Melbourne Park on Monday that marked the start of the Australian Open qualifying tournament. The Australian player Alex de Minaur, who also attended the event, said it was “no secret” the professional season was a long one but said he relished the January start.

“Alex has a good point about the length of the season,” Tiley stated. “The sport does need to get together and look at the length of it.

“It finishes with Davis Cup late on the men’s side and not as late on the women’s side but I do think it’s a long season. We’ve been talking about that for a long time.

“But Australia is the summer, Australia is January and this event is, from the players’ perspective, one of their favorite places to play.”

Some commentators have linked the withdrawal of leading players including men’s No.1 Carlos Alcaraz from this year’s Open with the short off-season. Alacaraz and veteran Venus Williams both will miss the tournament with injuries. Many players also face the challenge of adapting from the northern hemisphere winter to the Australian summer.

Tiley said players had adequate time to prepare and acclimatize.

“They’re coming here earlier, we’re now seeing players here for six weeks, for seven weeks and the preparation for the Australian summer is very normalized,” he said. “They know what they need to do.”

De Minaur said the length of the season needed to be reviewed.

“It’s no secret the year’s a very long year,” de Minaur stated. “You play tournaments throughout the whole year, you finish quite late. That depends on your schedule and everything.

“If there was a bit more time for an off-season, I’m sure a lot of players would like that. But at the same time we’re kind of used to it. “I’ve done it for a couple years where you finish quite late and then you get right into the midst of things.”

(With inputs from Agencies)

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