AUSTRALIAN OPEN bosses are ‘absolutely confident’ the Grand Slam will start on Monday following a coronavirus scare.
A total of 507 people, 160 of them players, were awaiting their test results on Thursday and Friday in Melbourne after being ordered to self-isolate in their rooms.
A hotel quarantine worker connected to the Grand Hyatt had contracted coronavirus, potentially the UK strain of the virus.
Yet despite cancelling the full day’s play on Thursday at Melbourne Park, and causing fixture chaos for the six tune-up events, tournament boss Craig Tiley insists it will be business as usual next week.
Tiley said: “We’re absolutely confident the Australian Open will go ahead.
“We know that we have a period now we have to work through with those 507 people.
“The probability is very low that there will have been an issue. We expect them all to test negative.
“If we have to go through this again, we’ll go through this again.
“We’ve got another three and a half weeks of tennis and fully expect to keep to the original schedule once we get past today.
“We want this to happen and we’ll do whatever to make it happen.”
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It is understood all nine household contacts of the male hotel worker tested negative.
Any sign of a community transmission would have raised the risk of a swift lockdown in the city of Melbourne and surrounding areas by government officials.
The draw for the Australian Open was moved back by 24 hours and is set to take place on Friday morning UK time.