The Grand Slam season begins at the Australian Open from February 8, 2021.
The 3-week delay than the scheduled will allow players to arrive in Melbourne and undergo quarantine and prepare for two ATP 250 events and the ATP Cup in the lead up to the rescheduled February 8 start.
Australian Open qualifiers to be held in Doha from January 10 to 13 before the players head to Melbourne for a 14-day quarantine.
The first Slam of the year, despite its heavy restrictions, is expected to draw all the big names including Men’s No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal, former No. 1 Andy Murray and a horde of younger star players like Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev.
The Women’s draw is also expected to have defending champion Sofia Kenin, Serena Williams, Ash Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova among others.
Six-times champion Roger Federer has withdrawn from the Australian Open as he continues to work his way back to fitness from two knee operations earlier this year.
Let’s share the Grand Slam updates and discuss the match results on this thread.
Federer’s manager Tony Godsick said the tennis legend wouldn’t be rushing back to the court for the tournament at Melbourne Park, which is scheduled to begin on February 8.
“Roger has decided not to play the 2021 Australian Open,” Godsick told AP in a statement.
“He has made strong progress in the last couple of months with his knee and his fitness. However, after consultation with his team, he decided that the best decision for him in the long run is to return to competitive tennis after the Australian Open.
3 ATP 250 events are confirmed as not taking place in 2021 due to the pandemic. They include the ASB Classic (Auckland) and the New York Open, while the Tata Maharashtra Open (Pune) is unable to stage in its scheduled February week.
Ankita Raina through to final round of qualifiers; Ramkumar Ramanathan eliminated
India’s top-ranked women’s player Ankita Raina moved to the final round of the Australian Open Qualifiers with a gutsy three-set win (6-2, 2-6, 6-3) over world number 118 Katarina Zavatska but it was curtains for Ramkumar Ramanathan in the men’s singles.
Ankita Raina’s bid to qualify for a Grand Slam singles main draw failed yet again, when she lost (2-6 6-3 1-6 ) the final round of the Australian Open qualifying event to Serbian Olga Danilovic.
It was the Indian’s sixth attempt to qualify for a competition at the grand stage. However, Ankita is still hoping to make the main draw as the organisers have decided to take players, who lost in the final round to Melbourne for ‘lucky loser’ entry in case there are withdrawals.
Considering the COVID-19 situation there could be withdrawals.
In case she does not make it, Sumit Nagal will be the only Indian to compete in the singles event of the first Grand Slam of the season. Nagal has been awarded a wild card entry into the men’s singles event.
Portugal’s Joao Sousa says he will not travel to Melbourne for the Australian Open despite returning a negative test for COVID-19 due to the Australian government’s strict protocols on a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.