Tennis Australia is scrambling to fix the dates for the 2021 Australian Open. With the latest mandate from the government making it impossible for players to arrive in Australia in December, organizers are sorting out ways to facilitate the mandatory 14-day quarantine period before the start of the Grand Slam.
The head of the Victorian state government Daniel Andrews spoke about when the Grand Slam could happen. But he was tight-lipped on the exact date on which it would be conducted.
‘‘I am very confident we will have an Australian Open in the early part of next year. The exact timing of it, the exact arrangements we put in place, they are not settled yet.’’
It is understood that the organizers and the government have just 72 hours to finalize the dates of the event. The Grand Slam is usually scheduled in the second week of January so players want to reach Australia before the end of 2020 to complete the quarantine and practice.
But now, due to roadblocks such as the ban on foreign players’ arrival in December and the quarantine, Tennis Australia might postpone the whole event.
The victim of this uncertain and troubled period has been the Junior Australian Open. The tournament directors announced to all players via a letter the postponement of the junior Grand Slam.
“These limits along with the increased biosecurity requirements have unfortunately made it extremely difficult for us to run a junior event at the 2021 Australian Open,” the letter read.
To maintain safety and limit risks, Tennis Australia has decided to postpone the Junior Aussie Open. It is an understandable decision as the organizers are having a tough time scheduling the main Grand Slam amid the strong restrictions.
Furthermore, there are serious dark clouds over the ATP Cup. The ATP Cup, which started last year, was a great season opener. But with the Australian Open having troubles, ATP Cup will take a back seat and might get canceled or happen later in the season.
Just like how this year’s French Open happened in September than the usual time in May, we could well see the Australian Open happen in February or March.