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Tennis News • Not Yet Official, But Australian Open On Course To Take Place From February 8-21, 2021

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.

By Ricky Dimon

The 2021 Australian Open is expected to happen, likely from February 8-21. That would mark a three-week delay from its originally scheduled dates (Jan. 18-31). It is still unconfirmed, but tournament director Craig Tiley sounds optimistic that he will get the green light from local authorities for the new February schedule.

“It’s taken a while, but the great news is it looks like we are going to be able to hold the Australian Open (starting February 8),” Tiley was quoted as saying.

The state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, has been one of the worldwide leaders in coronavirus restrictions. Thanks to a long lockdown, a night curfew, and various travel bans, it has eliminated all traces of the virus dating back to October. There have been no new positive cases in the last 34 days.

As such, the government is reluctant to let its foot off the gas and become susceptible to another wave of COVID-19. If they are willing to allow for professional tennis to be played this coming year, it won’t be without significant safety measures. Players will have to quarantine for two weeks, able to leave their hotel rooms for only five hours per day (for practice, training, etc.) during that time. Tennis Australia is also prepared to pay for private flights to Melbourne from January 15-17 for all participating players.

“I’d probably do that,” Andy Murray said of being in quarantine for two weeks before having a full week of normal preparation in advance of the tournament. “I mean, it’s not ideal, but I think that’s what pretty much everyone traveling to Australia has had to do the last little while. So I would do that, providing we had the opportunity to train afterwards and get ready for the tournament.”

Andy Murray is no stranger to quarantine bubbles, competing in the US Open earlier this year.

Again, though, nothing is official.

“There have been many reports, but we don’t have final details yet signed off by the Victorian government yet,” a Tennis Australia spokeswoman told the Associated Press.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

Editors note : O.K. so what does that do to Rotterdam Tourney ? And The rest of the events as well ? 

If we lived in a Covid / Corona “free zone” and did not like sports. We’d be pretty mad at our regulators…