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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday January 24, 2021

 
Australian Open Wang Qiang

The WTA and ATP announced changes to their February calendar in order to provide fairness to those in hard quarantine.

Photo Source: Mark Peterson / Corleve

The 2021 tennis calendar has undergone some minor tweaking in the name of fairness. On Sunday the tours announced that the WTA has added a special 500 event, named the Grampians Trophy, to be held from February 3 to 7.

Tennis Express

The event has been added solely for the participation of the WTA players that currently find themselves in hard quarantine in Melbourne.


“This has been a particularly challenging time for the athletes in hard lockdown and we, along with the WTA and ATP, aim to do everything we can to help,” Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said of the situation.

Currently 72 players are enduring their second week of hard lockdown. The rest of the players in Melbourne are able to leave their hotels for training at Melbourne Park for five hours a day, while the 72 in hard lockdown are forbidden to leave their room.

“This revised schedule comprised of three WTA 500 events in the week leading into the upcoming Australian Open will allow for our athletes coming out of the respected quarantine period to properly focus on their preparation in a return to competition,” WTA CEO Steve Simon said.

The new WTA 500 event will have 28 main-draw singles players. The other two 500 events will trim their draw sizes.

“The Gippsland Trophy and the Yarra Valley Classic, the two events originally planned from Sunday, January 31 to Saturday, February 6, will go forward with slightly reduced draw sizes,” the WTA said in a statement. “Those events will now have 54 singles players in each main draw, as well as 28 doubles teams apiece.”

The ATP has also modified its calendar, moving back all three events it plans to hold in the first week of February by one day.

“The Murray River Open, the Great Ocean Road Open and the ATP Cup will be pushed back by 24 hours,” The ATP said in a statement. “The two ATP 250 events will commence on Monday 1 February, each featuring an increased singles main draw size of 56, while the ATP Cup will start on Tuesday 2 February.”

“These changes to the lead-in events have been made to give the 72 players a little bit of extra time to help them prepare,” Craig Tiley said in a statement. “We also will prioritise them for things like practice sessions, gym and ice baths.”

The extremely busy schedule for the first week of February now contains six events – three WTA 500s, two ATP 250s and the ATP Cup.

Here is the full calendar, with all events to be played in Melbourne Park.


 

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