The Men’s Australian open will be delayed by three weeks to begin on 8 February instead of its usual January slot due to Covid-19, but there is no indication on when the women’s and wheelchair draws will get under way.
The ATP announced on Thursday that qualification for the first Grand Slam of 2021 will be moved to Doha in Qatar from 10-13 January, and with players and staff requiring extra time to then travel to Melbourne and quarantine for 14 days, the Australian Open will have to be pushed back to create space in the calendar.
The update clarified the first seven weeks of the men’s calendar “as tennis continues to navigate its return during the Covid-19 pandemic”.
Auckland’s ASB Classic and the New York Open will not place due to the pandemic, while the ATP said it was attempting to secure new dates for the Rio Open, which was scheduled to start on February 17 but now conflicts with the Australian Open.
It comes after Australian Open organiser Tennis Australia said on 1 December it was confident details would soon be finalised for the 2021 tournament.
The grand slam was due to start on 18 January but strict quarantine rules in the country had left Tennis Australia locked in negotiations with the Victorian Government to try to come up with workable arrangements.
It is unclear if the women’s and wheelchair sides of the draw will commence when scheduled.
The ATP Challenger Tour season will start on 18 January, after qualification for Melbourne concludes.