Australian Open: New schedule to help quarantined players_china

Ashleigh Barty in action in 2019

The unsavory headlines, however, haven't dulled or slackened the hectic pre-tournament activities and it now turns out that six different tournaments will be held in Australia over the next week, starting January 31, before the year's first Grand Slam kicks off on February 8.

All three have been in strict quarantine since their arrival.

Murray said he was "gutted" not to go.

The former world number one had hoped to travel safely and compete as planned on the back of a negative test.

His options would have been to train in his room as he would not have been able to train as others have under the special dispensation that Tennis Australia secured for players arriving in Melbourne last week.

His withdrawal comes after it was revealed three non-playing people in hard lockdown who tested positive after travelling for the Open had the highly- contagious United Kingdom strain of the virus.

Three of 17 charter flights carrying the players into the largely virus-free country reported positive cases, meaning the 72 players aboard - including Badosa - were limited to their hotel rooms for 14 days.

The organisers announced on Sunday a new women's competition from February 3-7 to aid the preparations of players in hard lockdown.

New evidence also suggests the variant might be 30 per cent more deadly.

"COVID-19 has had such a massive impact on life as we know it. Sport, as part of the fabric of the Australian way of life, suffered substantially during 2020".

A SPANISH tennis player has apologised after slamming quarantine rules at the Australian Open, days before testing positive for Covid-19. I'm feeling unwell and have some symptoms, but I'll try to recover as soon as possible listening to the doctors.

Only players in hard quarantine will be eligible to play the new event, called the Grampians Trophy and set, like all the other events, to take place in Melbourne Park.

The Victorian Government is considering adding new hotels to its quarantine programme in a bid to allow more overseas travellers into the area.

However, he was unable to agree upon a "workable quarantine" after talks with Tennis Australia.

"This revised schedule comprised of three WTA 500 events in the week leading into the upcoming Australian Open will allow for our athletes coming out of the respected quarantine period to properly focus on their preparation in a return to competition", WTA CEO Steve Simon said.