Australian Open Tennis 2021 Scheduled to Start on February 8 – The ATP’s administrative body has announced the Australian Open will start on February 8, three weeks later than planned.
While Tennis Australia and therefore the Victorian and Australian governments are yet to verify, the ATP on Thursday revealed its revised 2021 calendar with the Melbourne Park slam front and centre of pandemic-forced shake-up.
The ATP said men’s qualifying for the season’s first major was being moved to Doha, Qatar, from January 10-13.
That will be followed by a period of about two and a half weeks put aside for the trip to Melbourne and a 14-day quarantine period for players and their coaches or other support staff.
A 12-team ATP Cup, the relocated Adelaide International and a further men’s tournament are going to be held in Melbourne to offer players an opportunity to prep for the Open.
The ATP said the season would start with a tournament beginning within the first week of January in Delray Beach, Florida. That event was contested in February this year, shortly before the coronavirus pandemic took hold.
There also is going to be an early January tournament in Antalya, Turkey.
More 2021 calendar plans for later weeks are going to be announced separately, the ATP said.
Other tournaments which will not happen next year include the New York Open and an Open in Auckland, New Zealand.
The ATP is trying to find new dates for the Rio Open, which was alleged to begin February 17 but now conflicts with the two-week Australian Open main draw.
As with other sports, tennis was disrupted this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak, including several months with no competition, the postponement of the French Open’s start from May to September, and therefore the cancellation of Wimbledon for the first time ever since world war II.
After months of sensitive negotiations with health officials, Tennis Australia said it hoped to formalise the Open start dates and the initial draws.