The ATP said the men’s qualifying for the season’s first Grand Slam tournament is being moved to Doha, Qatar, from January 10-13.

Tennis balls are pictured in front of the Australian Open logo before the tennis tournament on January 14, 2018.
Tennis balls are pictured in front of the Australian Open logo before the tennis tournament on January 14, 2018. (Reuters)

The Australian Open will start on February 8, three weeks later than scheduled, the ATP Tour has 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 January 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 January 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 January 31 alongside another men's tournament in the city.

A shortened version of the ATP Cup men's team tournament will take place in Melbourne from February 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.

READ MORE: 2021 Australian Open will likely be delayed

Rio Open to be clarified

More 2021 calendar plans for later weeks will be announced separately, the ATP said.

Other tournaments that will not take place next year include the New York Open and an event in Auckland, New Zealand. 

The ATP is looking for new dates for the Rio Open, which was supposed to begin February 17 but now conflicts with the two-week Australian Open main draw.

As with other sports, tennis was disrupted this year because of the Covid-19 outbreak, including several months with no competition, the postponement of the French Open’s start from May to September, and the cancellation of Wimbledon for the first time since World War II.

READ MORE: Covid-19 leaves holes in global sports that can never be filled

Source: TRTWorld and agencies