Uncertainty Around Australian Open 2021 Rises Further as ATP Cup Gets Canceled

Published 11/27/2020, 5:34 AM EST
Tennis legend Ken Rosewall looks on during the 2020 ATP Cup Draw at The Sydney Opera House on September 16, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)


With uncertainty looming over the Australian Open 2021, Tennis Australia and the Victorian government are scrambling to give a definitive date to the Grand Slam. And now owing to time constraints and quarantine protocols, it is reported that the ATP Cup which debuted in 2020 will not take place next year.

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The ATP Cup is a tournament played between 24 countries. It successfully replaced the Hopman Cup last year and took place in Australia just before the Australian Open. It proved to be an effective curtain-raiser to the season and a warm-up to the Australian Open.

Pat Rafter, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall and Lleyton Hewitt pose during the 2020 ATP Cup Draw at The Sydney Opera House. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

When could the Australian Open 2021 happen?

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The rise in coronavirus cases across the globe has made the Australian government take some stern actions. The government has denied entry to the players in the month of December. Further, they have placed a 14-day mandatory quarantine as well.

Now, the players will have to arrive in the first week of January and then serve the 14-day quarantine. Thus, the slated date of the Australian Open is February 1. This gives no scope of conducting the ATP Cup before the Australian Open. This also means that players won’t have a tournament to play before the Australian Open, but it has been confirmed by the ATP that players will be able to practice during the quarantine period.

A general view of Rod Laver Arena. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

The Australian Open will be conducted on a tight schedule as the Junior Grand Slam event has also been canceled.

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ATP has sent a note to the players asking them to wait for further news on the regulations decided by the government.

“There are strict current limitations on the number of people allowed entry into Australia. A possible (1) or two (2) week pushback of the Australian Open is still likely. Final determination on COVID-19 protocols, close contract procedures, and player support teams will be released soon,” the note said.

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Many reckon that playing a Grand Slam without two weeks of practice is nearly impossible. The government will most likely allow practice during quarantine but under strict rules and supervision. Further, there could entourage limits and schedule changes. It remains to be seen how ATP and Tennis Australia coordinate and arrive at the best solution.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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