California [US], December 17 (ANI): Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) on Thursday confirmed that the Australian Open (first Grand Slam of the season) will be beginning from February 8 next year.
The Australian Open will go ahead from February 8-21 next year. ATP has also confirmed that Australian Open men's qualifying will take place from January 10-13 in Doha.
The allocated dates of January 15-31 will then allow for travel and a 14-day quarantine period for all players and support staff travelling to Melbourne, in accordance with requirements of Australian public health and immigration authorities. The controlled environment quarantine period will enable players to prepare ahead of a 12-team ATP Cup in Melbourne, played alongside the relocated Adelaide International, as well as an additional ATP 250 tournament, all held in Melbourne.
"The ATP has today announced an update to the 2021 ATP Tour calendar, outlining a revised schedule for the first seven weeks of the season as tennis continues to navigate its return during the COVID-19 pandemic," the ATP said in an official release.
The schedule for weeks 8-13 will be announced separately while all subsequent sections of the 2021 calendar, beginning with the Spring clay-court season from week 14, remain unchanged at this time, with all tournaments planned to take place as originally scheduled.
The opening week of the season will kick off with the ATP 250 Delray Beach Open, alongside a new single-year ATP 250 license on hard court in Antalya, Turkey.
ATP also confirmed that ASB Classic (Auckland) and the New York Open, while the Tata Maharashtra Open (Pune) will be unable to stage in its scheduled February week.
The Rio Open presented by Claro, an ATP 500 event, will not take place as originally scheduled, and alternative dates in the calendar will be assessed for it to potentially take place later in the year.
Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman, said: "The reconfigured calendar for the start of the 2021 season represents a huge collaborative effort across tennis, under challenging circumstances. Together with the support of our tournament and player members, partners, and Tennis Australia, we have been able to adapt and create an exciting start to the season. Health and safety will continue to be paramount as we navigate the challenges ahead, and I want to thank everyone involved for their commitment to finding solutions to launch our 2021 season." (ANI)