With the top 100 male and female tennis players set to descend on Melbourne this January, this year’s Australian Open is set to be a ripper.
And while speculation still remains over the logistics of the tournament, the major down under has been given a massive boost with Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley confirming that the biggest names in tennis will be in attendance at the event.
“Everyone has had to complete a travel commitment form and that is a precursor to getting visas,” Tiley said to The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald this week.
“All of the top 100 men and women have completed that. Everyone has indicated a desire to travel.”
In what’s been a coronacoaster of a year for tennis, we’re expecting to see some normality return next year, with the Australian Open and its precursor events scheduled to kick off the 2021 tennis season off with a bang.
Competition will be rife at the tournament, with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal each vying for their 21st major title, Ashleigh Barty looking to win her first major on home soil, and Serena Williams looking to top Margaret Court’s record.
Back to work😃🏋️♂️👨🏼🏫📚🍂🍁🎾 pic.twitter.com/zwljm17Rkv— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) November 6, 2020
We’re also already seeing some players starting to prepare for the event, gearing up for the extensive quarantine restrictions they’ll be subjected to as soon as they touch down in Oz.
Andy Murray is one player who has this week announced he’ll be bringing his season to a close early to prioritize preparations for the 2021 season.
After suffering a recurring hip injury, Murray did not take part in this year’s Rolex Paris Masters and will be absent from the ATP Finals in London as he looks to get his body right to fly out to Australia in December.
We are also keeping an eye on the fitness of certain key players, including world No. 2, Simona Halep, and world No.6 Stefanos Tsitispas.
Last week Halep tweeted that she had tested positive for coronavirus and was “recovering well from mild symptoms” while “self-isolating at home.”
We’re pretty certain that the 2019 Wimbledon champion will make a full recovery in time to fly out to Australia next month in her bid to top the WTA rankings.
Hi everyone, I wanted to let you know that I tested positive for COVID-19. I am self-isolating at home and am recovering well from mild symptoms. I feel good… we will get through this together 🤗💪— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) October 31, 2020
Meanwhile, 2019 ATP Finals winner, Tsitispas, worried fans after he pulled out of the Paris Masters this week, suffering from a recurring leg injury he picked up at the French Open last month.
Hopefully like Halep, Tsitispas will be able to recover in-time to make it out to Australia later this year.
With a blockbuster card confirmed for the major down under, player participation is perhaps now one of the last issues facing Australian Open boss Craig Tiley.
“The current presentation we made to the players… has been very positive in the sense they have all signed up,” he said.
“Federer and Nadal are on 20 Grand Slams each, you have Serena wanting to break Margaret Court’s record and you have Ash [Barty] trying to keep her No 1 ranking.”
Tennis Australia are set to make an announcement on tournament scheduling next week, but one thing’s for certain, with the talent on show and records at stake, it’s going to be one cracker of a tournament.
“As far as player participation is concerned, we are in great shape.”
Featured Image: “Roger Federer” by y.caradec // https://www.flickr.com/photos/10288162@N07/7305513976 // licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/Download permissions