Dominic Thiem was in the two-set defeat against Russian Andrej Rublew with his head in his semi-finals on Saturday. The tennis tour is facing new problems, and the beginning of 2021 is uncertain.
London / Vienna. Dominic Thiem lost the final group game at the ATP Finals in London against Andrej Rublew with 2: 6, 5: 7. After victories over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Rafael Nadal, the Lower Austrian was already a semi-finalist (match on Saturday). Against the strong playing Rublew, after all, it was about 200 world ranking points, Thiem did not go to his limit by far. He spared himself for the weekend.
The quarantine question
Around two months before the planned start of the Australian Open, there are new question marks as to whether the first Grand Slam tournament of the new season can be held as planned from January 18th. The sticking point in the discussions between the Australian association and the government in the state of Victoria, in which Melbourne is located, is the question of the start of the 14-day quarantine due to the corona pandemic.
All players and their support teams must complete these before they can take part in tournaments. How strictly this is handled can also be seen with Barbara Schett-Eagle, who works for Eurosport. The Tyrolean, who lives with her family in Australia, is currently in a hotel for this quarantine period before she can see her relatives again.
The tennis organizations ATP and WTA and the organizers of the Australian Open had previously planned that the entire entourage would travel to Australia in mid-December to be quarantined. Training should be allowed during this time, but otherwise not leaving the departments.
This would ensure that some preparatory tournaments can take place in the run-up to the Australian Open, which the Australian Association wants to relocate completely to the state of Victoria in order to avoid unnecessary trips within Australia.
Now politicians apparently only want to allow entry from abroad at the beginning of January 2021. Because of the mandatory isolation of 14 days, tournaments before the Australian Open would no longer be possible. ATP and WTA already informed the tennis professionals this week that “there are some new challenges in connection with the previously planned arrival dates for players and team members”.
The German Alexander Zverev – he is playing against Novak Djoković for the semi-final ticket in London today – cannot imagine such a variant. “I don’t think that’s an option. That would be like a lottery, you can just as easily toss a coin, ”said the 23-year-old on speculation that the players should not even be allowed to practice during the quarantine. Djoković could also imagine postponing the Australian Open by a week. “Then we could play a tournament beforehand.” (Red / age)
(“Die Presse”, print edition, November 20, 2020)