Tennis: Australian Open 2021 Delayed, to be Played in Melbourne from February 8 to 21
The ATP confirmed an updated schedule to the start of the new tennis season, which includes a delayed Australian Open which will now start 3 weeks later than planned. The ATP released the fixtures for the first 7 weeks during which the annual ATP 250 event in Maharashtra will not be held as scheduled.
Australian Open was scheduled to start on January 18 but the 3-week delay will allow players to arrive in Melbourne and undergo quarantine and prepare for two ATP 250 events and the ATP Cup in the lead up to the rescheduled February 8 start.
The ATP 2021 season will get underway with the Delray Beach Open, an ATP 250 event and another single-year licensed hard-court event in Antalya Turkey from January 5 to 13. The action will then shift to Doha where the Australian Open qualifiers will be held from January 10 to 13 before the players head to Melbourne for quarantine.
"Australian Open men's qualifying will take place from 10-13 January in Doha, and the allocated dates of 15-31 January will then allow for travel and a 14-day quarantine period for all players and support staff travelling to Melbourne, in accordance with requirements of Australian public health and immigration authorities.
Australian Open authorities are hoping 25 to 30 percent of the normal crowds to attend the season's first Grand Slam in Melbourne but with the Covid-19 situation under control in the country, there are chances of more crowd being allowed.
Meanwhile, as many as 3 ATP 250 events were confirmed as not taking place in 2021 due to the pandemic. They include the ASB Classic (Auckland) and the New York Open, while the Tata Maharashtra Open (Pune) is unable to stage in its scheduled February week.
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