Australian Open is ready to launch after a pandemic palpitations

Melbourne: After a three-week delay, a large logistical mission, and a few health fears, a very different Australian Open will begin on Monday, with the Pandemic Protocol alerting court proceedings.

Serena Williams launches its latest campaign to win a record 24th Grand Slam title on the first day. Novak Djokovic is also active, and Serbs are aiming for a record 9th Australian Open crown.

This year’s edition, dubbed “Happy Slam” by Roger Federer, may be remembered as a “nervous slum” after struggling to build enthusiasm in a vigilant host country, but the organizers said. I hope that the anxious accumulation will be forgotten when the action begins.

Tennis Australia (TA) has put a lot of effort into safe staging and has spent a fortune on biosecurity measures in countries where community infections with the new coronavirus are rare.

This is the third grand slam of the pandemic, and the French Open and the French Open pass safely enough.

But many in Melbourne see it as a pointless risk to the freedom they have gained after spending nearly four months on a brutal blockade to quell the outbreak last year.

The warm-up tournament, which filled stadiums across the country a year ago, has attracted a small crowd to Melbourne Park in the past week, despite the game’s biggest stars.

A few cases of COVID-19 among 1,200 Australian Open athletes, coaches and other staff who landed in the country last month had little effect on gaining momentum.

News that workers caught the virus at one of the tournament’s quarantine hotels caused more stringent social restrictions in Melbourne last week and saw 160 players quarantined until the infection was gone.

Protect our fans

Tournament director Craig Tylie asked the media to boost the tune-up event, but the modest crowd that appeared on Saturday did not risk injury before the main event, but after withdrawing from the match. , Was denied the opportunity to see Williams and other former champions.

Melbourne Park is usually crowded with fans, but congestion during the Grand Slam is limited to 30,000 per day, about half of its normal capacity.

If the roof is closed, you will need to wear a mask on the showcoat. Dividing the digital ticket and fan into three zones facilitates contact tracing as needed.

“In our case, it’s all about protecting our fans because there are no (COVID-19) cases in the community, but at other events around the world where there are cases, it’s important to protect athletes and behavior. “TA Chief Operating Officer Tom Lerner said on Sunday.

The biosecurity bill could exceed A $ 40 million ($ 31 million), and TA has resigned to lose most of its A $ 80 million reserve to pay for it.

With the Australian border closed, TA wants home fans to regain some of their spending and the drama to be limited to court.

Responsibility now shifts to players, doing good shows and being most excited to compete in countries where the virus is virtually blocked.

“We are also entertainers. We want to exchange that atmosphere and energy with the audience,” he said. Defending champion Novak Djokovic, who plays Jeremy Chardy on Monday, said.

Former champion Naomi Osaka also stands on the court in a fierce clash with Anastasia Pavlychenkova at Rod Laver Arena.

If you’re lucky, the two weeks will go well and the trophy will be raised by a brilliant champion on the center court.

Organizers may still have won the “Safe Slam” staging, if not the “Happy Slam” of the pre-pandemic era.

($ 1 = 1.3026 Australian dollars)

(Edited by Peter Rutherford)

Australian Open is ready to launch after a pandemic palpitations

Source link Australian Open is ready to launch after a pandemic palpitations

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