The Australian Open is staring down a delay of one or two weeks in 2021, potentially starting on January 25 or February 1st due to COVID restrictions.
Talks have been underway between talks between the Victorian government, health officials and Tennis Australia.
“There’s a number of potential dates on the table. I’ve seen reports that suggest that it’s likely to be delayed by a week or two. I think that’s still most likely,” Victorian sports and tourism minister, Martin Pakula said. “But it’s not the only option. As you know, the French Open was delayed by many months and Wimbledon didn’t occur at all.
“I still think it’s much more likely that it will be a shorter rather than longer delay. I don’t want to unduly repeat myself but these are very complex negotiations.”
Players are likely to be allowed to practice while serving a two-week quarantine, but the start date will depend on whether or not the players insist on a lead-up tournament in the week prior to the first grand slam tournament of the year.
Such a delay would actually push the Men and Women’s Finals into the 2021 survey year (February 7) which would frankly be a blockbuster for Nine, but potentially wreak havoc on Seven and 10 plans.