Melbourne [Australia], December 19 (ANI): Australian Open 2021 will take place at Melbourne Park from February 8-21, the organisers confirmed on Saturday.
Australian Open 2021 will feature singles, doubles and wheelchair competitions. Australian Open qualifying will be held offshore, with the women's event taking place in Dubai, and men's qualifying in Doha from January 10-13. The AO Junior Championships has been postponed until later in the year.
"This will be an historic Australian Open on so many levels. For the first time in more than 100 years, the Australian Open will start in February and we look forward to offering the players what we believe will be one of their best playing experiences in 2021," Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said in an official release.
"AO 2021 is going to be all about supporting local businesses - our tennis coaches, the farmers, food and wine producers, chefs, artists and musicians - and celebrating everything that is great about our country, as well as providing opportunities to those who've been so hard hit during the pandemic, particularly in Melbourne and Victoria," he added.
Players will compete for more than AUD 80 million in prize money during their time in Australia, with the AO total prize pool remaining at the 2020 level of AUD 71.5 million.
The players exiting in the first round of the AO will take home AUD 100,000, up 15 per cent from 2020. There have also been significant increases to prize money for qualifying and the early rounds, with the full breakdown to be provided in the coming weeks.
The world's top players have been eagerly awaiting final confirmation of the AO dates and details and can now prepare to arrive in Australia from January 15 and undertake mandatory quarantine for 14 days. All players and their teams arriving for the AO are above and beyond the numbers of returning Australians.
"Melbourne is the home of the biggest sporting events and it's fantastic that arrangements have been settled for Melbourne Park in February," Acting Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Jaclyn Symes said. (ANI)