Australian Open men’s tournament delayed by three weeks and will now not start until February as part of reshuffle amid coronavirus pandemic
- The Australian Open will now take place from February 8 to February 21
- Qualification for the first Grand Slam of the year will take place on Doha, Qatar
- Move ensures quarantine periods can be observed by according to the ATP
The Australian Open men’s tournament will be delayed by three weeks as the ATP look to juggle the tennis calendar around the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the association, the first Grand Slam of the year will now run from February 8 to 21.
The ATP announced an update for the first seven weeks of the season ‘as tennis continues to navigate its return during the Covid-19 pandemic’.
The Australian Open men´s tournament to start three weeks later than planned, claim the ATP
In a statement, they clarified that qualification for tournament had been moved to Doha, Qatar, from January 10 to 13, which will allow time for travel and a 14-day quarantine period for all players and support staff travelling to Melbourne.
Novak Djokovic is the defending champion after beating Dominic Thiem in a five-set thriller earlier this year and the Serbian will be looking for his ninth overall success in Melbourne.
Auckland’s ASB Classic and the New York Open will not place due to the pandemic, while the ATP said it was attempting to secure new dates for the Rio Open, which was scheduled to start on February 17 but now conflicts with the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic is the defending Australian Open champion after triumphing in January
It comes after Australian Open organiser Tennis Australia said on December 1 it was confident details would soon be finalised for the 2021 tournament.
The grand slam was due to start on January 18 but strict quarantine rules in the country had left Tennis Australia locked in negotiations with the Victorian Government to try to come up with workable arrangements.
It is unclear if the women’s and wheelchair sides of the draw will commence when scheduled.
The ATP Challenger Tour season will start on January 18, after qualification for Melbourne concludes.
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