Australian tennis icon Rod Laver avoids the Australian Open. The 82-year-old Laver, winner of eleven grand slam titles, stays at home. The Australian lives in the United States and will follow the tournament on television, he reports on Twitter.
“I have decided to stay at home this year and will unfortunately miss the Australian Open. front row. Good luck to everyone who competes and to the Australian Tennis Federation, which makes this possible. “
The largest stadium at Melbourne Park bears the name of Laver, who won the tournament in 1960, 1962 and 1969. The finals are played on the center court. Laver usually hands out the prize to the men’s winner on court.
Despite the corona crisis, spectators are welcome along the courts in Melbourne. Normally, the Australian Open attracts around 800,000 spectators. Now the organization is counting on just over half of that. “We will have about 50 to 75 percent of normal capacity,” said Tournament Director Craig Tiley. “Although we have not had corona cases in Melbourne for a long time, people will still be concerned that they will catch the virus. In that regard, the Australian Open will not be the same as normal.”