The governing body of men’s tennis announced that the Australian Open will officially start on February 8, delaying the event three weeks from when it was originally scheduled in 2021. This was revealed in the ATP’s revised 2021 calendar released Wednesday.
As things currently stand, men’s qualifying for the first major tournament of the year is being moved to Doha, Qatar and will take place from January 10-13. Afterwards, players travelling to compete in the Australian Open will have to go through a 14-day quarantine period — which will be shared with their coaches and other support staff — when they arrive to Melbourne.
In order to assist players with preparation, a 12-team ATP Cup, the relocated Adelaide International — it was announced earlier this month that all tennis in the country would take place in Melbourne — and an additional men’s tournament will be held prior to the Australian Open.
The first Grand Slam of the year was one of the sporting events not directly affected by the coronavirus in 2020. Of course, there were the tournament’s own problems given that they were concurrent with the Australian wildfires, forcing athletes to compete with unsafe air quality. Novak Djokovic finished the tournament as champion on the men’s side, with Sofia Kenin winning it on the women’s side.