The discovery of a positive case for coronavirus of an employee of one of the hotels where tennis players passed the mandatory 14-day quarantine, the Grand Hyatt, caused the suspension of the entire day this Thursday in Melbourne Park, where up to six tournaments are played simultaneously, prior to the first Grand Slam of the season. The possibility that they will appear positive in the tests that will be made to the 600 people (502 related to tennis) that they could be in contact with this worker sparked rumors about a possible cancellation of the major. This Thursday, the president of Tennis Australia and director of the event, Craig Tiley, wanted to nip them in the bud.
“We are absolutely sure that the Australian Open will go ahead,” he told reporters, and was blunt: “We will start on Monday.” That is the day scheduled for the start of the championship that will take place, if the leader is right, between February 8 and 21. Regarding the rest of the tournaments, he said that they will continue this Friday: “The plan is to continue playing tomorrow as planned, although with that we have to go day by day.”
Tiley assured that the players and the members of their teams who were at the Grand Hyatt will have their tests ready in the Australian afternoon this Thursday, the morning in Spain. And he confirmed that the draw for the Grand Slam pictures, which was to be held at 4:00 p.m. local time, was postponed to Friday.
“Relatively low” risk of contagion
For his part, Victoria’s deputy health director, Allen Cheng, said that he sees it unlikely that there have been infections among Hyatt players: “The risk is relatively low, because they were in the rooms at the time, unlike the staff who were outside of them.” “That said, the last case to leave the hotel for health care was on the 22nd, so now we have been around 14 days since then. That is why we believe that the risk is relatively low, so we are doing the tests to be sure and it is a precautionary measure, “said the doctor.