Tennis Australia open to the idea of hosting additional ATP and WTA Tour events in 2021
The Australian tennis swing could be extended in 2021 in an attempt to counter the continued fallout from the coronavirus pandemic with tournaments potentially taking place after the Australian Open.
For the last few decades, the tennis season has traditionally started Down Under, culminating in the Australian Open, before the ATP and WTA Tours head off to all parts of the globe, including North America, South America, Europe and Asia.
However, Covid-19 led to the cancellation of dozens of tournaments this year and, although a few were staged during the latter stages of the year, quarantine regulations were still a major headache for authorities.
The 2021 season is again due to start in Australia, although there are doubts over the ATP Cup, but the Australian Open is set to run from 18-31 January with players expected to arrive in mid-December to quarantine.
However, the calendar for the next few months remains up in the air due to Covid-19 and travel restrictions.
Australian Open Tournament Director and Tennis Australia Chief Executive Craig Tiley says they are open to hosting events until mid-February should the ATP and WTA Tours come knocking.
“We are talking about the possibility of having a couple of events after the Australian Open,” he told Daily Mail.
“It’s an open conversation right now with the tours.
“I am of the view that we are still going to be significantly challenged on freedom of travel and by lockdowns in February and March next year.
“It’s about how it impacts the rest of the Tour and if the Tours and the players want it. If they do we would entertain it. It is on the table and they are looking at it.
“They are looking at what happens next season.
“We want to maximise playing opportunities and ideally we want everyone to play at least one event plus the Australian Open, but it could be more.”
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