Australian Open crowd at 10% capacity would be a godsend, says Djokovic

© Reuters. ATP Finals

(Reuters) – World number one Novak Djokovic has said he hopes fans will be allowed to show up in large numbers for the Australian Open in January, although spectators are still excluded from most stadiums in the amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the tour resumed after the COVID-19 shutdown, the majority of events have been played in empty stadiums, with a few allowing few fans to attend with social distancing protocols in place to curb the spread of the virus.

“If Australia does happen, I hear we’re going to have at least 50% of the stadium capacity. That’s a lot, I think even 10% would be huge for us at this point,” Djokovic said after looking moved into the ATP semi-finals in London.

“Just hearing the applause and hearing the fans and feeling their energy and their emotion and their kind of excitement to be there and cheer you on on the pitch is something that we all miss. . “

The Rod Laver Arena is the largest in Melbourne Park with a maximum capacity of 15,000, followed by the Melbourne Arena (9,646) and the Margaret Court Arena (7,500).

Reigning champion Djokovic, who has won the Australian Open eight times, said he hoped the feeling of “stepping into an empty stadium” would be temporary but he was glad they were able to resume the match. season this year despite the pandemic.

“Weird is probably the right word to describe the season, but I still feel like we’ve played a lot of tournaments given that we had a six-month gap in the middle of the season,” he said. he adds.

“We still managed to play three of the four Grand Slams and the ATP Finals and some big Masters 1000 events like Cincinnati and Rome.”

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