ATP Tour somehow managed to close the surreal twenty-twenty season with the ATP Masters 1000 of Cincinnati (in the Flushing Meadows bubble), Rome and Paris-Bercy. But also with the US Open, the Roland Garros and the ATP Finals.
After weeks of hypothesis and rumors, Andrea Gaudenzi's team has unveiled the schedule for the first seven weeks of next season. A good place to start, given the circumstances and the quarantine imposed by the Australian government.
It will start on January 5th with the ATP 250s of Delray Beach (Florida) and Antalya. Tournaments that will obviously be reserved for players who will not have to take part in the qualifiers of the first seasonal Grand Slam which will exceptionally be held in Doha, Qatar, from 10 to 13 January.
The hole in the middle in January, due as already mentioned to the fourteen days of mandatory quarantine, will be the backdrop to a double tournament that will be played simultaneously in Melbourne from January 31st to February 6th.
The first will replace the Adelaide ATP 250, the second, an absolute novelty, will presumably be removed in just over twelve months. The calendar also features a reduced version of the ATP Cup (made up of 12 teams) spread over the first five days of February.
In short: the first seasonal Grand Slam is confirmed to be held from 5 to 21 February, to be understood whether with the presence of the crowd or not. Few certainties about the weeks and obviously the months immediately following.
"This first calendar is however the result of all the efforts we have made over the past few weeks. In incredibly difficult circumstances, together with the players and all the organizers, sponsors and Tennis Australia, we were able to find a solution for the start of the season.
Ensuring the health and safety of everyone will be one of our main objectives," explained Gaudenzi in the note released on the sidelines of the calendar. It should also be noted that the ATP Challenger Tour will start on January 18th.
The problems of the other tournaments in the next season
Problems on tonly for Indian Wells. The 2021 tennis season has not yet started and the problems with setting the program are only growing. This has already brought down several tournaments for next season and one of the first to pay for it has been the traditional fixture that kicked off the start of the season in recent years.
The Abu Dhabi Fair Tournament, where many important figures on the circuit started training before the major events in January, has been canceled. As the tournament organizers point out in their official statement, the complications of the calendar that have arisen in recent weeks to frame the first tournaments of 2021 make it impossible to hold the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, which has been held continuously since 2009.
"The safety and well-being of our guests, players, officials and spectators always comes first and we look forward to welcoming the championship in 2021," announced the tournament on his Instagram profile. Therefore, Rafa Nadal will not be able to confirm the victory of a trophy that he won last year for the fifth time against Stefanos Tsitsipas, being the Mallorcan player who has achieved the most success in this event.
In November 2008, the creation of a new trade fair tournament for the start of the season was announced, which would be held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the tournament was to promote tennis in this region, creating many other tournaments: the Dubai Tennis Championships, which is part of the ATP and WTA, also in the United Arab Emirates; The Qatar ExxonMobil Open (ATP) and the Qatar Total Open (WTA), in Doha, Qatar and the WTA Tour Championships, also in Doha.
The tournament would be played by six tennis players for three days and the winner would receive a prize of 250 thousand dollars. Several tennis-related activities in the area preceded the tournament, including an amateur tournament (Community Cup) in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and a player warm-up exhibit, similar to the Kooyong Classic. Of the six participants, numbers 1 and 2 go directly to the second round (Nadal and Federer in 2009, 2010 and 2011).