Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that there is a possibility that Australian Open, the season’s curtain raiser, may not be held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Covid-19 outbreak has wrecked the tennis schedule this year with the whole of the grass court season, including Wimbledon, cancelled. The French Open has been pushed back to September, if the virus can be contained by then. A decision has not been made on the fate of this year’s US Open yet.

The Australian Open is traditionally held in January.

Tiley did not rule out the ‘Happy Slam’ being suspended in 2021. With Australia imposing strict travel restrictions, he also conceded that overseas fans may not be able to travel Down Under.

“Worst-case scenario is no AO,” he told the Australian Associated Press. “Our best-case scenario at this point is having an AO with players that we can get in here with quarantining techniques and Australian-only fans. There are four scenarios and we’ve modelled everything.”

Tiley has spoken about tennis being suspended for the rest of the year previously. The ATP and WTA Tours have suspended all activity till mid-July as countries around the world went into lockdown.

He said: “We’ve modelled the times we have to make decisions, dates we have to make decisions, who it impacts, how it’s going to impact them.

“We’ve done that for 670 staff. We’ve done that for all of our partners - our media partners, our sponsors and for all the governments and places we rent facilities.

“And now we’re working on the international playing group and getting them to understand what each of those scenarios are and what it means for them and how we can action it.”

Australia have nearly 7,000 patients who have contracted the coronavirus. The the time of writing, there were 96 deaths in the country.