American John Isner decides to skip this year Australian Open as strict COVID-19 health protocols would have forced him to be away from his family for an extended period.
Players are set to begin arriving in Melbourne this week for the Grand Slam event and Victoria’s state government has said it is imposing the strongest restrictions seen at any tennis tournament for the February 8-21 Open.
Pliers and staff have to isolate for two weeks before they take part in warmup events at Melbourne Park, which is also the venue for the Australian Open, from January 31.
There are also restrictions on players’ entourages traveling to Australia which forced Isner, the highest-ranked men’s American player at 25th, to decide to stay at home.
The 35-year-old, who is known for this touring frame and massive serve, has been ranked as high as number eight in the world and has won 15 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles titles.