Australian Open in legal nightmare with residents unhappy over stars flooding to Melbourne amid coronavirus pandemic

NEXT MONTH’S Australian Open faces a major stumbling block with the threat of legal action over player accommodation.

Apartment owners in Melbourne are unhappy with the potential influx of tennis stars from around the world during the global Covid-19 pandemic.

International aces like Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams must observe government-backed two-week quarantining before being allowed to play the first Slam of 2021.

They will be tested regularly for coronavirus but can train and exercise for up to five hours per day during this period.

Yet owners of 36 exclusive penthouse apartments in The Westin Melbourne, which had been earmarked as possible quarantines zones, believe the event poses an unacceptable health risk to residents.

And angered by a perceived lack of communication by hotel management, it is understood they could consider an application to the Supreme Court for a last-minute injunction.

Players are expected to arrive Down Under from January 15 with the event starting on a rescheduled date of February 8.

The final is due to take place on February 21.

One apartment owner, retired investment manager Mark Nicholson, said: “It’s incredibly arrogant to ambush us this way as if it’s a done deal.

“There are substantive public health and legal issues that have not even been examined.”

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