The Aussie Open is just around the corner. The first Grand Slam of the calendar year usually happens in the last two weeks of January. I have major concerns regarding the lack of practice tournaments leading up to the major. Coming from a festive period, most athletes would want to ease into the tournament. There has been talk of a practice and quarantine hub in Melbourne which I support 100 percent. This arrangement can be logistically manageable but it is not without its drawbacks.
So many players and their entourages crammed up in a relatively small space could be a recipe for covid-19 disaster. This means organizers would have to test players regularly, limit the entrance of outside non participating individuals which could be a mammoth task. I know the Aussie government wants to hold the Open as urgently as yesterday since the tournament is a major revenue generator for the country but it should consider postponing the tournament. Why I say this? They risk losing major crowd pulling tennis talent if they even have an incline of doubt as to their safety. We saw this at the US Open where players such as Halep and Nadal(although he says he was resting up for clay courts). Yesterday the British government announced they are going back to higher tier restrictions. So there is a real possibility that parts of Australia where the warm up tournaments are being held might go under lock down restrictions in the middle of play making movement to Melbourne impossible.
Moving the tournament to the autumn allows players time to recover from festive madness and regain their fitness.Another action to consider for the organizers is moving the tournament to another country say Africa. This will increase the awareness of the sport on the continent where its largely ignored. Coronavirus has been in most parts of Africa managed well. The climate is similar to Australia making it home, away from home. This of course is a last resort thing if the worst scenario occurs.