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Nick Kyrgios pumps up the crowd. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis fans will be prohibited from attending the Australian Open as the state of Victoria prepares for a five-day lockdown in response to new COVID-19 cases.

Why it matters: The lockdown comes after an outbreak at a Holiday Inn near Melbourne Airport that was being used to house returned travelers.

Driving the news: The cluster of cases linked to the hotel grew to 13 on Thursday night, with five new cases emerging, per AP.

  • As of Friday morning, the state's active case tally was 19.

Where it stands: Life had returned to near normalcy in the state of Victoria, with bars packed full of unmasked patrons. But now, over 6 million Victorians will only be able to leave home for essential shopping, work, exercise and caregiving.

  • Schools will be closed Monday through Wednesday, gatherings are off-limits, and masks will be required everywhere.

Yes, but: Tennis players are classified as "workers" and will be permitted to continue their matches. The minimum number of staff required to safely run the event will also be present, while everyone else will be asked to work remotely.

The backdrop: The Australian Open had hoped to welcome nearly 400,000 fans and avoid a "bubble" by having players "hard quarantine" upon their arrival.

  • Tennis Australia faced backlash for this, but the strategy had worked so far, with players expressing gratitude for the opportunity to play in front of fans.
  • Now, the tournament will continue without spectators, just like September's U.S. Open in New York.

On the court, Australian Nick Kyrgios nearly upset No. 3 Dominic Thiem in front of an electric crowd that entered lockdown right after the match ended (around 7am ET) — and knew they wouldn't be back for at least five days.

  • The match went five sets and was as thrilling as it gets, with lots of underhand serves from Kyrgios and a ton of grit from Thiem.
  • Serena Williams advanced to the fourth round where she'll play No. 8 Aryna Sabalenka for the first time.

Go deeper

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The next worker fight: Time off for Juneteenth

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Who gets paid time off to celebrate Juneteenth in the years to come will be uneven and complicated, if history is any guide.

Why it matters: Corporate America hasn't grappled with a new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was authorized almost 40 years ago. How they responded took years to evolve.

17 mins ago - World

UN assembly condemns Myanmar military coup

Protesters make the three-finger salute as they take part in a flash mob demonstration against the military coup. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

The UN General Assembly on Friday condemned Myanmar's military coup and called for an arms embargo against the country, AP reports.

Why it matters: The rare move demonstrates widespread global opposition to Myanmar's military junta, which overthrew the country's democratically elected government and seized power on Feb. 1.

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.