Tennis Australia’s determination to host world No 1 backfires as visa limbo threatens to create a lopsided men’s tournament

Just under a year ago, as Tennis Australia attempted to pull off the seemingly impossible feat of successfully beckoning the world of tennis through the country’s closed borders in order to hold the 2021 Australian Open, numerous leading figures framed the necessity of holding the tournament in existential terms.

Craig Tiley, Tennis Australia’s CEO, warned of the possibility of the event being bought out by other entities if it was not held. Daniel Andrews, the Victorian Premier, mentioned imaginary potential bids from China and Japan. Ultimately, Tiley offered the most confusing assessment: “The only reason we get the players here is because we offer a lot of prize money and we spend a lot of time pursuing them to come.”

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