Restrictions threaten Brisbane tournaments

Organisers continue to plan for the Brisbane International and ATP Cup to be played at the Queensland Tennis Centre but concede the summer of tennis may take place entirely in Melbourne.

A reported deadline of next week for a guarantee from various state governments that borders will open to allow players to fly around Australia and that players will be able to leave their hotels during a 14-day quarantine period for on-court practice has tournament organisers running out of time to secure their events.

Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley has not ruled out shifting the summer season’s entire schedule to Melbourne to ensure players don’t miss the Australian Open at Melbourne Park because of border restrictions that could leave them stranded outside of Victoria.

In September, ATP Cup general manager and Brisbane International tournament director Mark Handley said both events would take place in January at the Queensland Tennis Centre and “kickstart” Australia’s summer of tennis.

Handley on Wednesday said “planning continues” for both events to still be held in Brisbane in January.

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“Our team is working with government at all levels on the many logistics involved,” he said.

“We are working on multiple scenarios for the summer of tennis, factoring in the constantly changing environment.”

And that includes a “Melbourne-only scenario”, which Handley confirmed was being “actively considered to ensure players can play the Australian Open”.

It’s understood officials from Tennis Australia and Tennis Queensland met with the state government on Tuesday for further talks about the staging of the two tournaments.

Entries have yet to open for either event, with no players having confirmed plans to travel to Brisbane.

It has been reported that star quartet Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have all committed to competing in the Australian Open but are yet to book their flights.


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