Tennis professionals infected with the coronavirus will still be allowed to play their matches at the Australian Open.

Surprising announcement before the first Grand Slam tournament of the year: Tennis professionals infected with the coronavirus will still be allowed to play in the Australian Open, which starts on 16 January. As federation head Craig Tiley of the national federation Tennis Australia announced on Monday, there will be no compulsory testing for the participants of the tournament.

“We’ve made it clear to our players and also to our 12,000-plus staff. We have asked that if anyone feels ill, they should stay at home,” Tiley is quoted as saying by the Australian newspaper The Age. Still, according to Tiley, “there could potentially be players who will compete with COVID”. The disclosure of infection is up to each individual, he said.

Last year, Australia’s COVID policy also caused a stir around the first Grand Slam tournament of the year. Nine-time tournament winner Novak Djokovic (Serbia) had been expelled at the beginning of 2022 due to his unresolved vaccination status and missed the tournament.