For the first time in over a century, the Australian Open will begin in February this year.
The 2021 edition of the Grand Slam tournament will take place at Melbourne Park, where it’s been held every year since 1988. In an effort not to inhibit Australia’s success in limiting the spread of the coronavirus, all players will be required to arrive by Jan. 15 before submitting themselves to a 14-day quarantine period. Fans will be invited to attend in a limited capacity and tickets are already on sale.
Players will compete in the hardcourt event for over $80 million in prize money with those exiting in the first round receiving $100,000 minimum. Nearly all of the top players in the world will be competing, including reigning two-time men’s singles champion Novak Djokovic and 2020 women’s singles winner Sofia Kenin.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 Australian Open.
When is the 2021 Australian Open?
For TV viewers in the U.S., the 2021 Australian Open runs from Sunday, Feb. 7 to Sunday, Feb. 21.
The first matches will begin at 7 p.m. ET on Feb. 7 (11 a.m. on Feb. 8 local time) and every day through the Round of 16 will follow the same schedule. Each day will be broken up into two sessions, with the latter beginning at 3 a.m. ET (7 p.m. local time).
Quarterfinal matches start at 7 p.m. ET on Feb. 15-16. The women’s semifinals are on Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. ET before the men's semifinals Feb. 18 at 3:30 a.m. ET.
The women's doubles final, men's singles final and mixed doubles semifinal are at 11 p.m. ET on Feb. 18. The women’s singles final and men’s doubles final are scheduled for Feb. 20 at midnight ET. The tournament concludes with the mixed doubles final and men’s singles final at midnight ET on Feb. 21.
Qualifiers will be held Jan. 10-13, with the men playing in Doha and the women in Dubai. Both the men’s and women’s singles tournaments grant 104 invitations for direct entry with eight players added to each as wildcards and another 16 make it via the qualifiers to round out each field of 128.
Have any players tested positive for COVID-19?
Two players were among the six flight passengers to arrive in Melbourne and test positive for the coronavirus soon after. In addition to those six individuals, which include two coaches and an aircrew member, being transported to a medical hotel for isolation, all other passengers on those flights including 72 tournament players were subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
The flights in question departed from Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi and Doha, Qatar. Doha was the site of the qualifiers for the men's side of the tournament.
ATP men’s rankings ahead of 2021 Australian Open (Top 25):
Player, country (ATP world ranking as of Jan. 7)
- Novak Djokovic, Serbia
- Rafael Nadal, Spain
- Dominic Thiem, Austria
- Daniil Medvedev, Russia
- Roger Federer, Switzerland – Withdrew (family reasons)
- Stefanos Tsitsipas, Greece
- Alexander Zverev, Germany
- Andrey Rublev, Russia
- Diego Schwartzman, Argentina
- Matteo Berrettini, Italy
- Gael Monfils, France
- Denis Shapovalov, Canada
- Roberto Bautista Agut, Spain
- Milos Raonic, Canada
- Pablo Carreno Busta, Spain
- David Goffin, Belgium
- Fabio Fognini, Italy
- Stan Wawrinka, Switzerland
- Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria
- Karen Khachanov, Russia
- Felix Auger-Aliassimie, Canada
- Cristian Garin, Chile
- Alex de Minaur, Australia
- Borna Coric, Croatia
- John Isner, USA - Withdrew (COVID-19 concerns)
WTA women’s rankings ahead of 2021 Australian Open (Top 32):
Player, country (WTA world ranking as of Jan. 7)
- Ashleigh Barty, Australia
- Simona Halep, Romania
- Naomi Osaka, Japan
- Sofia Kenin, USA
- Elina Svitolina, Ukraine
- Karolina Pliskova, Czech Republic
- Bianca Andreescu, Canada
- Petra Kvitova, Czech Republic
- Kiki Bertens, Netherlands
- Aryna Sabalenka, Bulgaria
- Serena Williams, USA
- Belinda Bencic, Switzerland
- Victoria Azarenka, Bulgaria
- Johanna Konta, Great Britain
- Garbine Muguruza, Spain
- Madison Keys, USA
- Iga Swiatek, Poland
- Petra Martic, Croatia
- Elena Rybakina, Kazakhstan
- Elise Mertens, Belgium
- Marketa Vondrousova, Czech Republic
- Maria Sakkari, Greece
- Anett Kontaveit, Estonia
- Jennifer Brady, USA
- Angelique Kerber, Germany
- Alison Riske, USA
- Karolina Muchova, Czech Republic
- Yulia Putintseva, Kazakhstan
- Dayana Yastremska, Ukraine
- Amanda Anisimova, USA
- Ons Jabeur, Tunisia
- Donna Vekic, Croatia
2021 Australian Open Singles Draws
Australian Open Men's Singles Draws:
The 2021 Australian Open men’s singles draws can be found here.
Australian Open Women's Singles Draws:
The 2021 Australian Open women’s singles draws can be found here.
What is the 2021 Australian Open tournament schedule?
The 2021 Australian Open will have three weeks of on-the-court action. The generic schedule is as follows:
-Sunday, Feb. 7: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's First Round
-Monday, Feb. 8: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's First Round
-Monday, Feb. 8: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's First Round
-Tuesday, Feb. 9: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's First Round
-Tuesday, Feb. 9: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Second Round
-Wednesday, Feb. 10: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Second Round
-Wednesday, Feb. 10: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Second Round
-Thursday, Feb. 11: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Second Round
-Thursday, Feb. 11: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Third Round
-Friday, Feb. 12: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Third Round
-Friday, Feb. 12: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Third Round
-Saturday, Feb. 13: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Third Round
-Saturday, Feb. 13: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Fourth Round
-Sunday, Feb. 14: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Fourth Round
-Sunday, Feb. 14: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Fourth Round
-Monday, Feb. 15: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Fourth Round
-Monday, Feb. 15: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Quarterfinals
-Tuesday, Feb. 16: 3:00 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Quarterfinals
-Tuesday, Feb. 16: 7:00 p.m. ET: Men's and Women's Quarterfinals
-Wednesday, Feb. 17: 3:30 a.m. ET: Men's and Women's Quarterfinals
-Wednesday, Feb. 17: 7:00 p.m. ET: Women’s Semifinals
-Thursday, Feb. 18: 3:30 a.m. ET: Men's Semifinals
-Thursday, Feb. 18: 11:00 p.m. ET: Mixed Doubles Semifinals, Women’s Doubles Final & Men’s Singles Semifinals
-Saturday, Feb. 20: 12:00 a.m. ET: Women's Singles Final & Men's Doubles Final
-Sunday, Feb. 21: 12:00 a.m. ET: Mixed Doubles Final & Men's Singles Final
How to watch the 2021 Australian Open Tournament
The 2021 Australian Open will be broadcast on ESPN and the Tennis Channel. Streaming will also be available on ESPN.com and through the ESPN app.