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Federer, Serena Commit to 2021 AO with 50 Percent Fans

By Erik Gudris

The 2021 Australian Open will go ahead next year with two of its greatest champions in the draw.

Six-time men’s champion Roger Federer and seven-time women’s champion Serena Williams have both committed to the Grand Slam per tournament director Craig Tiley.

More: Djokovic Reaches 14th RG Quarterfinal

Tiley, speaking to Australian television Channel Nine, outlined plans for the first Grand Slam of the year that will include spectators between 25 and 50 percent of normal capacity. About 800,000 fans attended the event last January.

“Roger (Federer) this morning just confirmed this morning publicly he'll be here, Serena Williams will be here trying to get Margaret Court's record so we're excited about the players that will be here and what we'll put up,” Tiley said.

If Federer plays, it will be his first appearance at a major since he ended his 2020 season early so that he could recover from knee surgery. Federer played at the 2020 Australian Open where he reached the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.


Hey @rogerfederer, see you again soon down under 👋 🐨 ☀️ 😎 🎾 #AusOpen #AO2021

A post shared by Australian Open (@australianopen) on

Tiley also discussed how the tournament will operate in a bubble environment for players and staff in a way similar to how the US Open event was held in September. Players will be required to complete a planned two weeks quarantine before being able to compete.

Tennis Express

“We're going to start around the middle of December when all the players will come in, Tiley said. “They'll do two weeks of quarantine that they'll do in cities around Australia and those two weeks we're creating a bubble where they'll be able to be in it from the hotel to the courts in a training environment.”

Tiley was also impressed by the efforts made at the US Open and French Open to allow those two events to take place, despite the ongoing health situation.

“For them to go ahead and be successful in the environment they're in, in countries where the infection rate is really high, and the US Open of course was with no crowds, the French Open with small crowds, we've learned a lot," Tiley said. “We've been in touch with them a lot and we're certainly going to take away a lot of their successes and put them into January. We're 'all go' for what we think is going to be a great start to the year.”

Photo credit: Mark Peterson/Corleve