He might be basking in the joy of the biggest win of his career, but Daniil Medvedev’s thoughts have already turned to the first grand slam of 2021.
It’s a sign of the times, though, that he’s thinking more about his health than winning a debut slam, given the way the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to impact international travel.
Medvedev, the newly crowned ATP Finals champion, tells CNN Sport he is “really uncertain” about his Australian Open plans.
Players will not be allowed to arrive in Australia any earlier than January 1, with the latest coronavirus regulations in Victoria — the state in which the Australian Open is held — outlining that any new arrivals would still need to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
With the tournament currently scheduled to begin on January 18, that would leave players very little time to prepare physically after being confined to a hotel room for two weeks.
“I’m going to go to Australia when we can to avoid any circumstances that would change your mind about competing there,” Medvedev told CNN’s Christina Macfarlane.
“If, for instance, you weren’t able to compete or to train during quarantine just ahead of the tournament, I don’t think the tournament is going to happen.
“[I’m] not complaining that it’s boring or something like this, it’s just that going out from the room after 14 days of not doing anything and [then] playing five sets right away, I think would be really dangerous for the health of any sportsman.
“At least from what was said before, we would be able to practice on tennis courts and practice physically, which is really important. I don’t think it’s going to be possible for anybody to go there [if they] will need to stay in the room for 14 days.”
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said this weekend he was “very confident” the Australian Open would take place “in the early part of next year,” but admitted the exact dates were still to be confirmed.
There had been reports the tournament could be pushed back as far as February or March, but organisers said in a statement to Reuters that this was “pure speculation.”
Australian Open organisers and the ATP did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.