Players with Covid-19 could still compete at Australian Open

The Australian Open could allow players to compete even if they have Covid-19, tournament director Craig Tiley has revealed.

The first grand slam of 2023 will get under way next week and nine-time champion Novak Djokovic will be involved after missing last year’s edition due to visa issues over his lack of vaccination status.

Last January’s tournament occurred amidst the backdrop of Djokovic’s controversy and with players being tested daily while the previous Open in 2021 took place in a bio-secure bubble.

Rules have been relaxed in the country during the past 12 months and last week cricketer Matt Renshaw was able to play for Australia in a Test against South Africa in Sydney despite contracting Covid-19.

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“It’s a normalised environment for us and, not dissimilar to the cricket, there will potentially be players that will compete with Covid,” Tiley told reporters at Melbourne Park in addition to revealing competitors are not required to test for coronavirus this year.

“We just wanted to follow what’s currently in the community.

“We have gone a step further by making a recommendation around staying away when you’re ill and that our medical staff will continue to monitor that with players individually as well.

“We’ve made it clear to our players, as well as our staff, if anyone is feeling unwell, stay at home.”