Happy New Year and welcome to the 2021 tennis season! After the dust of hardships and setbacks settled, the ATP and WTA look poised to make this upcoming year its best yet. Despite the looming COVID-19 pandemic, the game’s best are ready to suit up for a bounce-back 12 months.
Not everything is back to normal, however. The constant international travel that players normally face in a given stretch is much too risky for everyone involved given the current state of the world.
The most notable changes to the ATP’s first quarter is where the year’s first Grand Slam will fall. Instead of its usual mid-January start, the tour elected to push “first ball” to February 8th in order for the world’s best to be in Melbourne safely up until that date. Players will fly in three weeks to compete in one of three events:
- Melbourne 1 (Adelaide): January 31st-February 6th
- Melbourne 2 (a second ATP 250-level event): January 31st-February 6th
- ATP Cup: February 1st-5th
In an effort to keep COVID-19 away, the AO Men’s qualifying will be held from January 10th-13th, with all competing players in the tour’s first major flying into Melbourne shortly thereafter for a two-week quarantine.
With that said, the excitement for a new normal couldn’t be higher. Players are geared up and ready to battle in what could be one of the most historic years in tennis, both on and around the court. Here are our bold predictions for the 2021 ATP and WTA seasons.