Australian Open: Djokovic, Nadal, Serena will quarantine in Adelaide
The marquee tennis players are set to quarantine in Adelaide rather than Melbourne ahead of the upcoming Australian Open. Notably, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka will be among the players to stay in Adelaide. An exhibition match will also be held on January 29, which features the world's top-three men and two of the top-three women. Here is more.
Australian Open chief Craig Tiley informed that the players will only be allowed out of their rooms for five hours to practise and train under a bio-secure bubble, in Adelaide. "They'll be in a different hotel and a smaller cohort and travel direct to Adelaide. We think this is a great opportunity to actually launch before we go into the season," he said.
Tiley had earlier asserted that Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep would be among the eight players involved in the exhibition along with US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who gave the confirmation later on. The "A Day at the Drive" event will take place at the city's Memorial Drive Tennis Centre on January 29, a week before Australian Open gets underway at Melbourne Park.
Adelaide will also host a WTA tour 500 level event, the Adelaide International, following the Australian Open, that ensures every player an opportunity to compete after traveling Down Under and isolating for two weeks.
State Premier Steven Marshall, in a news release, said the two tournaments will kick-start the operations in Adelaide following the COVID-enforced break. "These two tournaments are a real coup for South Australia," he stated. "This is a real show of support for the way that South Australia has managed the COVID-19 pandemic and underlines our ability to attract world-class events."
Other warm-up tournaments will be held in Melbourne ahead of the Australian Open, starting February 8. These will shortened versions of the ATP Cup involving Nadal, Djokovic and Thiem. As per reports, nearly 1,270 players and support staff are due to arrive in Melbourne on charter flights next week, where they will have to spend a mandatory 14 days in quarantine.