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Medvedev says quarantine ‘dangerous’ for players as Open hangs in balance

“If, for instance, you weren’t able to compete or to train during quarantine just ahead of the tournament, I don’t think the tournament is going to happen.”

The sticking point for players is the inability to train during their two-week quarantine.

TA initially hoped that would be possible, but the Victorian government is standing firm on their stance to have all players and staff complete a strict 14-day hotel quarantine before beginning their Australian Open preparation.

If TA is unable to change the mind of Victorian premier Daniel Andrews – or arrange sufficient lead-up tournaments prior to the start of the grand slam – Medvedev believes players will be put in a “really dangerous” situation.

Daniil Medvedev lifts the ATP Finals trophy.

Daniil Medvedev lifts the ATP Finals trophy.Credit:Getty

“[I’m] not complaining that it’s boring or something like this, it’s just that going out from the room after 14 days of not doing anything and playing five sets right away, I think would be really dangerous for the health of any sportsman,” he said.

“At least from what was said before, we would be able to practice on tennis courts and practice physically, which is really important.

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“I don’t think it’s going to be possible for anybody to go there [if they] will need to stay in the room for 14 days.”

TA and the Victorian government were on Tuesday coy about any updates to the official start date of the tournament, but sources with knowledge of the negotiations concede the original January 18 start date is now all but off the table.

That is likely to cause some financial pain for TA as the Australian Open’s broadcaster, Channel Nine, wants the tournament played in the final two weeks of January.

Nine may be able to return to the negotiating table and ask for a discount on part of its six-year, $350 million deal if the tournament is pushed back until February.

Removing the three-round qualification tournament in the lead-up to the main Australian Open draw remains an option to reduce any delay to the starting date and to reduce the number of international players arriving in Victoria at the back end of next month.

The US Open took an identical stance to its qualification fixtures earlier this year and received pushback from the ATP and WTA, as grand slam appearances are key to securing significant prizemoney for lower-ranked players.

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