The ATP has announced its schedule for the 2021 season. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Australian Open will take place from February 8th through to February 21st. This is three weeks later than it was supposed to be scheduled to start. The reason for the delay is that the Australian government wants to ensure the tournament is COVID secure, which will require a lengthy delay.
Men’s Qualifying Will Be Held In Doha
Subsequently, the men’s qualifying for the Australian Open will take place in Doha, Qatar. The dates for the qualifying matches are from January 10th through to the 13th. Consequently, the players, -coaches, and staff members will have two-and-a-half weeks to travel to Melbourne, where they will quarantine for the next 14 days. This is in order to remain with the guidelines that the Australian government has implemented for the players so the Grand Slam can take place.
Warm Up Events Before The Australian Open
The WTA is yet to release their schedule, however the ATP revealed that they will have a 12 team ATP Cup, a relocated Adelaide International, and an additional men’s tournament for the men. These tournaments will serve as preparation for the Australian Open.
Before these tournaments, there are two scheduled tournaments to be held. The first one is the Delray Beach Open, which will take place in the second week of January. That same week the Antalya Open will take place in Turkey. Unlike in the past in which the event has been contested on grass, the 250 event will be contested on a hard court.
The ATP Challenger Tour season, meanwhile, will begin on January 18, once the Australian Open qualifiers have come to a close.
Tournaments That Will Not Be Held
Due to the rescheduling, there are several tournaments that will not be held this year. Those tournaments include the Auckland Open and New York Open. The Maharashtra Open will not be played in its regular place in February, but has not yet been cancelled. The Rio Open, the biggest tournament during the Golden Swing, will also not take place as originally scheduled, but it may be moved to a later date in the year.
Tennis Will Be Played
Clearly this year is very different from others, but the most important thing is that the protocols are being followed. This should ensure that every player, coach, staff member, and others involved in the tournaments are safe and protected. Yes the schedule has been shuffled, but there will at least be tennis occurring. Some people feared that there wouldn’t be an Australian Open this year, but thankfully the event will carry on.
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