Australian Open scheduled to start Monday despite concerns for players’ health

Australian Open 2020 tournament director Craig Tiley.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley has confirmed that the sporting event is still scheduled to take place on Monday (Jan, 20).

It has been widely speculated that the tournament would be either cancelled or postponed due to air quality concerns caused by fires raging across many parts of the country.

Tiley stated that air quality in Melbourne—where the Austrian Open will take place—is not a threat and that there are no plans to postpone the matches.

It has been reported that a number of players are not happy about being asked to play in less than ideal conditions. However, the tournament director insisted that the decision to press ahead was made based on advice received from medical experts and the Protection Authority.

Tiley also maintained that the hazard is lower than that at other events including the Olympics and WTA tournaments. Organisers of the tournament have also installed monitoring devices to record air quality at four-minute intervals. Tiley said that players have received two emails with information regarding the situation.

“We’ve said all along, and I’ll repeat it again, their safety, their well-being, their health, is of priority to us, as it is with our staff and our fans,” Tiley said.