The Australian Open show did go on, but has it been worth it? | Emma Kemp

The Australian Open show did go on, but has it been worth it? | Emma Kemp

The Guardian

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The players have done their best, but 2021’s first slam will be remembered not for what was there, but for what was missing

On the eve of the Australian Open, Craig Tiley was a man of resolve. “Covid, in the next 12 to 18 months, will kill off events like we knew them before, they won’t exist,” the tournament boss said the day before play began. “This event, because it survived the Covid onslaught, will be looked at as a shining light that continues to grow.”

In reality, this grand slam is probably more one part beacon and one part small reading lamp. For Melbourne did host its annual grand slam and, to paraphrase Tiley’s words, the world did not believe it. But that disbelief was not always born from wonder and appreciation, even if it has reached its conclusion with some spectators in their seats.

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