Belgian tennis star Kirsten Flipkens has put forward a unique plan by virtue of which the WTA tour calendar for 2021 won’t be disturbed despite the uncertainties around Australian Open.
Flipkens has the WTA events in Dubai and Doha could be brought forward and the year’s first Major pushed back to ensure the season isn’t disrupted in any way.
The Australian Open kicks off the WTA season and the Dubai and Doha events come close after.
She said it would serve all interests if the Dubai and Doha events were staged in January and the Australian Open postponed to a convenient date for both the organizers and players.
Taking to Twitter, the Belgian said that while shuffling the events would be a formidable task, the governing body of women’s tennis could give it a thought.
“I know it’s easier said than done but why not, for example play Dubai-Doha in January instead, and give Australia more time like this?
Just thinking out loud,” Flipkens tweeted.
A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the Australian Open next year in the light of a spike in Covid cases.
All state borders have reportedly been closed till January to contain the spread of the virus.
The move has only increased the mounting logistical worries around the event.
The government of Victoria, which is the host state for the year’s first Major, has still not put out the official start date for the Australian Open.
Reports in the Australian media suggest that the Victorian government is adamant on pushing through a two-week quarantine rule for players without the option of training.
The move has given rise to fears of big names pulling out of the event.
Media reports claim that Tennis Australia, WTA, and ATP are in talks with the Victoria government in the hope that it will eventually allow players to train and practice at designated facilities during isolation.
Flipken’s Tour colleague Belinda Bencic has said she may not travel for the Australian Open due to a lack of clarity on tournament rules, especially with regard to training and isolation.
Speaking to German tabloid AZ, the Swiss star said tough quarantine rules would make it hard for her to compete at the event.