2021 Australian Open set to start on February 1 with players arriving early January – report

Australian Open Melbourne Park overview

The 2021 Australian Open is set to get underway on February 1 “pending Victorian government approval”, according to reports.

Next year’s season-opening hard-court Grand Slam was initially scheduled to run from January 18-31, but coronavirus quarantine restrictions in Australia have left tennis officials and government authorities at loggerheads.

At present, players would need to quarantine for two weeks on arrival in Australia while the state of Victoria will reportedly not allow them to enter before January 1.

It would leave players short of match practice ahead of the major while it will also have a big impact on warm-up tournaments.

With the Victorian government sticking to its guns on the 14-day quarantine period, the Sydney Morning Herald reports that “players have been advised the Australian Open will most likely start on February 1, pending Victorian government approval for them to travel to Melbourne in the first week of January”.

The report adds that “players are set to arrive by January 7 at the latest, before completing a 14-day quarantine period”.

Should most players arrive on January 1, it would pave the way for tennis authorities to squeeze in warm-up tournaments in the two-week period after they have quarantined and before the Australian Open starts.

Both the ATP and WTA Tours are yet to confirm which lead-up tournaments will take place next year.

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