Open draw delayed for player test results | Ralph-Lauren

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The Australian Open draw will be delayed by almost 24 hours as organisers await the results of COVID-19 testing of 160 players linked to a positive case.

Those players were among a group of 507, including their support staff, who were sent for testing on Thursday after quarantining at the same hotel as a worker who became infected.

“The draw was set for 6pm tonight (Thursday) but we’ve postponed it until tomorrow afternoon,” Open boss Craig Tiley said.

“It will be a smaller version to what we’ve done before because the focus is to get the draw done and get it out there so everyone can start planning what they are doing Monday and who they are watching.

He said the schedule for the opening day on Monday would be dependent on who was still in action on the weekend in the lead-in tournaments,

“We will make the decisions on which halves play where by Saturday as we’ve got to get through quite a few matches on Friday,” Tiley said.

The draw was already set to be like no other, held behind closed doors in Tiley’s office without the usual pomp and ceremony, with tournament referee Wayne McEwen in attendance

Tiley said complications around social distancing and the unprecedented running of six tournaments concurrently at Melbourne Park has forced his hand.

Australia’s No.1 Ash Barty is the top seed in the women’s singles for the second year in a row, with nine other local women in the tournament.

World No.23 Alex de Minaur and fellow grand slam quarter-finalists Nick Kyrgios and John Millman and successful qualifier Bernard Tomic headline Australia’s 12-strong assault in the men’s singles.

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