The Australian Open has been confirmed to start on February 8

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Australian Australian Open is set to begin on February 8, three weeks after being scheduled, organizers confirmed on Saturday after months of speculation about the first Grand Slam of 2021.

File photo: Tennis – Australian Australian Open – Melbourne, Australia Australia, January 14, 2018. Tennis balls before the tennis tournament are depicted in front of the Australian Open logo. Reuters / Thomas Peter / File photo

The start date of the main draw of the tournament was originally scheduled for January 18 and the organizers were in talks with the local government about COVID-19 health protection measures.

This will be the historic Australian Australian Open on many levels, ”tournament director Craig Tilly said in a statement.

“For the first time in more than 100 years the Australian Australian Open will start in February and we look forward to offering players who we believe will be the best experience to play in 2021.”

The state of Victoria on Saturday marked the 50th day without a case of community-infected COVID-19, but many health restrictions remain in place in Melbourne and international travel to Australia is still strictly limited.

The Victorian state government said the players would be tested at least five times during the Covid-19 and quarantine before leaving for Australia, during which they would be able to train five hours a day.

Tilly added that ensuring from the start that players have the best possible preparation for the Australian Open, while always preserving the precious seaweed-free environment created by the Victorian community … has been paramount in the last six months. .

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This year’s Wimbledon tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 epidemic, while the U.S. And at the French Open, players were confined to bio-protected ‘bubbles’, they couldn’t leave hotel rooms except to train and play.

Qualifying for the Melbourne Park tournament will be held abroad for the first time – in Dubai for women and in Doha for men – before players travel to Australia to undergo a 14-day quarantine.

After the quarantine, men’s and women’s warm-up events will be held in Melbourne so that players can practice their matches before the start of the Grand Slam.

On Thursday ATP Tours announced the announcement of Tennis Australia Australia to update its calendar for 2021 to improve in the first seven weeks of its season.

The WTA claimed on Saturday, announcing two tournaments in Melbourne in the week starting January. And1 and another were knocked out of the players’ Grand Slam in the second week of the Australian Open.

The women’s tour will begin its 2021 season with the Abu Dhabi Open on January 5. The 10 Australian Open in neighboring city Dubai will start on January 5 before the Australian Open qualifies.

The tournaments in Uckland and Shenzhen, China, have been canceled, but will return to the tour in 2022, the WTA said in a statement.

Edited by Shri Navaratnam, Report by Nick Malvenny

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