Australian Open likely to be delayed by a week or two in January

A bird's-eye view of Melbourne Park during the 2019 Australian Open. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Australian Open is expected to be postponed by one or two weeks, says a Victoria government minister.

The first Grand Slam of the year is scheduled to take place in Melbourne from 18 – 31 January 2021.

However, Covid-19 quarantine regulations in Victoria mean players may not be allowed in the state until the end of December at the earliest.

Victoria’s sports minister Martin Pakula said it is “likely to be delayed by a week or two”.

“I still think it’s much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay,” Pakula added.

Tennis Australia had been expecting players could arrive in Melbourne in mid-December and quarantine for two weeks, before starting the season on 1 January.

If the players have to delay and arrive in late December, they could possibly have enough time to be prepared and play the matches in the Australian Open 2021.

But while it is likely players will be able to practise during their quarantine, it has not yet been approved by the state authorities.

“The quarantine requirements will be those that are ultimately agreed with the public health authorities and then it will be a matter for the ATP and the WTA about whether or not they are acceptable,” says Pakula.

The French Open was delayed by four months due to Covid-19 pandemic, whilst Wimbledon was cancelled in 2020.

Source: BBC Sport