ATP Cup and other Australian Open lead-up events thrown into doubt following ‘new challenges’

Shahida Jacobs
Australian Open Melbourne Park overview

There are fresh doubts over the 2021 ATP Cup and several other Australian Open warm-up events as authorities are struggling to come up with an agreement on quarantine measures.

The season was initially scheduled to get underway in the first week of January with the ATP Cup due to be staged in various Australian cities while the WTA Tour was due to start with the Brisbane International while the WTA Hobart International and joint ATP-WTA Adelaide International were scheduled for the week after.

There was talk last week that all events would be moved to the Australian state of Victoria with officials eager to create a bubble that will allow players to arrive Down Under from mid-December to undergo 14 days of quarantine before events start.

However, there are no question marks over those proposals as the Victoria government is yet to agree to the measures.

The ATP confirmed in a statement that there are fresh concerns.

“In discussions with Tennis Australia over the past 24 hours, we have been informed there are some new challenges around the previously planned arrival dates for players and team members,” a note to players from the ATP read.

“We continue to work with Tennis Australia on confirming plans for January, and we will provide an update as soon as more information is available in the coming days.

“We understand there is uncertainty about the start of the 2021 season, and we are working as hard as possible to deliver the best possible calendar of events to players.”

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is confident that the Australian Open, which is due to start on 18 January, will go ahead, but insists a lot of work still needs to be done.

“We are working very, very closely with Tennis Australia. They are working all of their partners. We’re confident that we’ll finish up with an Australian Open. It’s a very important event,” he said.

“But there’s a lot of work to be done to make sure that that’s as safe as possible – not just from the broader Victorian community from a public health point of view.

“It has to be safe for those involved in the event.”

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