2021 Australian Open 'Most Likely' Will Be Delayed by 1-2 Weeks

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IINovember 25, 2020

Serbia's Novak Djokovic kisses his trophy, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup, during a photo shoot at Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens following his win over Austria's Dominic Thiem in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championships, in Melbourne, Australia, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
Dita Alangkara/Associated Press

The 2021 Australian Open will "most likely" be pushed back from its scheduled date of Jan. 18, Victorian Sports and Tourism Minister Martin Pakula told reporters Wednesday.

Pakula said the Grand Slam tennis tournament may be delayed "by a week or two," and tournament director Craig Tiley said the dates should be finalized within two weeks.

Pakula did not reveal specific details of the quarantine process for athletes who will compete at the tournament but said that the requirements will be considered in relation to public health guidelines before the ATP and WTA decide whether they're acceptable.

"An extremely rigorous testing regime will apply to the players both before they leave the port that they come in from and when they arrive," Pakula said.

While the Australian Open ran as scheduled from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2 this year, the COVID-19 pandemic affected the rest of the tennis majors. The French Open, which was scheduled for May 24-June 7, did not start until Sept. 27, and Wimbledon was canceled entirely. The U.S. Open ran as scheduled, with just one player testing positive out of 10,000 tests, according to Yahoo Sports' Benita Kolovos and Darren Walton.

The Australian Open is held in Melbourne, Victoria. According to the Victoria state government, there have been no new cases of COVID-19 in the state for 25 consecutive days, and there are no active cases.

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