The Australian Open will be continued without spectators as Victorian premier Daniel Andrews confirmed a snap five-day lockdown.
According to the details, Daniel Andrews on Friday confirmed that Melbourne would be locked down from midnight.
However, the Grand Slam will go ahead but ‘without fans’ in the stands from Saturday until Wednesday.
The Tennis Australia in its statement said that, “We are notifying ticketholders, players and staff that there will be no fans onsite at the AO for five days, commencing from Saturday 13 February.”
Moreover, the Tournament Director Craig Tiley said Tennis Australia was still liaising with the state’s health department to figure out what happens if matches go past 11.59pm on Friday night.
Australian Open organizers further said that full refunds would be available for anyone who has tickets for these sessions and they would be advised on how to apply as soon as possible.
A cap of 30,000 fans per day around 50 per cent of the usual attendance figure had been enforced since the year’s first grand slam began on Monday.
In addition to this, the women’s final is scheduled for Saturday evening next week, and the men’s decider for the Sunday. In the recent match, Serena Williams sealed her 90th Australian Open victory despite a significant first set battle with Anastasia Potapova and qualified for the fourth round.
Potapova held several set points against Williams but fumbled as the 23-time grand slam champion managed to capitalise in a tight tiebreak and took home a first set that was riddled with uncharacteristic errors on both sides.
Prior to this match, Serena remains her unbeaten run since emerging from 14-day quarantine with a 6-3, 6-0 second-round thrashing of Nina Stojanovic in 69 minutes.
She said in her statement that,
“I wasn’t thinking as much in the second, as I was in the first,” said the American, who hit 27 winners.
“I just think when I’m not thinking it’s more or less like I’m just totally relaxed.
“Even with my serve, I overthink it. But when I don’t think about it… it goes in.”
Williams, though, was conscious about not letting her focus wander.
“It’s a balance because sometimes that’s a… time to slack off and to lose focus,” she said.
“So, it’s really about finding that key balance there for me.”