ATP announces schedule, Australian Open to start on February 8

The ATP season will open with tournaments in Delray Beach, Florida and Antalya in Turkey before preparations for Melbourne Park begin

The ATP release said men's qualifying for the Australian Open would take place in Doha from Jan. 10-13 before players relocated to Melbourne to enter quarantine.   -  Getty Images

The Australian Open will start on Feb. 8, three weeks later than scheduled, the ATP Tour said in releasing an update of its calendar for 2021 revising the first seven weeks of the season.

The start date of the main draw of the year's first Grand Slam was originally slated for Jan. 18 and organisers Tennis Australia have been in drawn-out negotiations with local government over COVID-19 health measures.

Tennis Australia was not immediately available for comment.

The ATP release said men's qualifying for the Australian Open would take place in Doha from Jan. 10-13 before players relocated to Melbourne to enter quarantine.

The ATP tournament scheduled to take place in Adelaide has been moved to Melbourne to be played in the week commencing Jan. 31 alongisde another men's tournament in the city.

A shortened version of the ATP Cup men's team tournament will take place in Melbourne from Feb. 1-5 before the Grand Slam begins on the following Monday.

The ATP season will open with tournaments in Delray Beach, Florida and Antalya in Turkey before preparations for Melbourne Park begin.

Start of Australian Open confirmed for February 8

The Australian Open will start on February 8, three weeks later than scheduled, organisers confirmed on Saturday after months of speculation over the first Grand Slam of 2021.

The start date of the main draw of the tournament was originally slated for January 18 and organisers have been locked in drawn-out negotiations with local government over COVID-19 health security measures.

“This will be an historic Australian Open on so many levels,” tournament director Craig Tiley said in a statement.

“For the first time in more than 100 years the Australian Open will start in February and we look forward to offering the players what we believe will be one of their best playing experiences in 2021.”

- REUTERS