The upcoming Australian Open in February is set to be completely different for various reasons. The tournament takes place in January every year, but the coronavirus pandemic has led to a delay in 2021. Moreover, there is also a change in venue for the qualifiers of the tournament. The qualifiers of the Australian Open 2021 are set to take place in Doha and Dubai.
The men’s event will be taking place at Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex in Doha. The qualifiers will see 128 men competing for 16 qualifying spots for the main event. The mini-tournament will take place in four days between January 10 and 13. The draws for the qualifiers will take place on January 9.
Meanwhile, the women’s qualifiers event is set to take place at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium and Complex in Dubai. In this qualifying tournament, 128 women will be vying for 16 spots in the first round of the Australian Open. This mini-tournament will also take place between January 10 and 13 with draws taking place a day before the start of the event.
The other grand slams may follow the Australian Open in conducting qualifying events in the Middle East. The Indian Premier League was recently held in the UAE, highlighting the capability of the country to host global sporting events during the pandemic.
Earlier this week, the Australian Open suffered a massive blow when Roger Federer was ruled out of the tournament due to an injury. The Swiss tennis ace has been out of action for the majority of 2020 due to the same injury. The organising committee will be hoping that no other tennis star decides against participating in the tournament as they need top players to make the event successful. Moreover, star players add more to the value of the grand slam.