MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: The Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup for Women and the Norman Brookes Memorial Cup for Men are seen ahead of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 7, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Tennis | Australian Open 2021 confirms historic February start
The dates for this year’s Australian Open have now been confirmed by Tennis Australia and will take place between 8-21 February.
In the official launch press release, Tournament Director Craig Tiley said: “This will be an historic Australian Open on so many levels. For the first time in more than 100 years the Australian Open will start in February and we look forward to offering the players what we believe will be one of their best playing experiences in 2021.
“From the outset, ensuring players have the best possible preparation for the Australian Open, while at all times protecting the precious COVID-free environment that the Victorian community has built through incredible sacrifice and hard work over the past six months, has been paramount.
The State of Victoria imposed a rigid lockdown after case numbers of COVID-19 rose and the restrictions in place reflect the hard work that the Australian Government has put into controlling the coronavirus.
Tiley continued: “It has taken eight months of working alongside government authorities, here in Victoria, nationally and interstate, to give us the opportunity to present an Australian Open that will play a major role in both the economic and psychological reinvigoration and rejuvenation of Melbourne and Victoria.
“AO 2021 is going to be all about supporting local businesses – our tennis coaches, the farmers, food and wine producers, chefs, artists and musicians – and celebrating everything that is great about our country, as well as providing opportunities to those who’ve been so hard hit during the pandemic, particularly in Melbourne and Victoria.”
What events will the 2021 Australian Open include?
Australian Open 2021 will feature singles, doubles and wheelchair competitions. AO qualifying will be held offshore, with the women’s event taking place in Dubai, and men’s qualifying in Doha from 10-13 January. The AO Junior Championships has been postponed until later in the year.
What is the prize money for the 2021 Australian Open?
Players will compete for more than $80 million in prize money during their time in Australia, with the AO total prize pool remaining at the 2020 level of $71.5 million. Players exiting in the first round of the AO will take home $100,000, up 15% from 2020. There have also been significant increases to prize money for qualifying and the early rounds, with the full breakdown to be provided in the coming weeks.
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