MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian Open kicks off on February 8, three weeks after the schedule was confirmed by the organizers on Saturday after months of speculation over the first Grand Slam of 2021.
The start date of the main draw of the tournament was originally set for January 18 and the organizers were involved in discussions with local governments about the Covid-19 health care measures.
“This will be a historic Australian Open on many levels,” tournament director Craig Tully said in a statement.
“The Australian Open will begin in February for the first time in more than 100 years and we look forward to offering players what we believe will be the best experience to play in 2021.”
Saturday marked the 50th day without a single case of COVID-19 transmitted by the community community in Victoria, but many health restrictions remain in place in Melbourne and international travel to Australia is still strictly restricted.
The Victorian state government said the players would be tested for the Covid-19 before leaving for Australia and at least five times during the quarantine, during which they would be able to train for five hours a day.
“Ensuring from the outset that players are the best prepared for the Australian Open, while at all times the Victorian community has protected the precious COVID-free environment that has been created over the last six months,” Tally added. Remained the most important. .
This year’s Wimbledon tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, while US and French Open players were forced to confine themselves to bio-safe ‘bubbles’, unable to leave their hotel rooms without training and playing. .
Qualifying for the Melbourne Park tournament will be overseas for the first time – Dubai for women and Doha for men – before the players go to Australia for a 14-day quarantine.
After the quarantine, there will be men’s and warm-up training programs in Melbourne that will allow players to practice some matches before the start of the Grand Slam.
The ATP Tour on Thursday unveiled Tennis Australia’s announcement to release an update to its 2021 calendar to revise Tennis Australia’s first seven weeks of the season.
The WTA followed suit on Saturday, announcing two tournaments in Melbourne in the week beginning January 31 and knocking out 31 more Grand Slams in the second week of the Australian Open.
The Women’s Tour begins its 2021 season with the Abu Dhabi Open starting January 5.
The tournaments in Auckland and Shenzhen, China have been canceled but will return in 2022, the WTA said in a statement.
Reporting by Nick Malvane Edited by Mr. Nikvartanam