The ATP has finalized its schedule for the weeks after the Australian Open. The Miami Masters will be held in late March (as per usual), while a string of smaller claycourt and hardcourt tournaments will take place before that.
Earlier, the ATP had released the schedule only for the first seven weeks of the 2021 season - up to the Australian Open, which is slated to end on 21 February. But now it has been confirmed that there will be two events the week starting 22 February, in Montpellier (France) and Cordoba (Spain). Those will be followed by events in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and Buenos Aires (Argentina) in the first week of March.
The week of 8 March will see three events - one in Marseille (France), another in Santiago (Chile) and a third in Doha (Qatar).
The week of March 15 will see tournaments in Dubai (UAE) and Acapulco (Mexico), followed by the Miami Masters - which is scheduled to be held from 24 March to 4 April.
The new calendar is crammed with a lot of events in the small window before the start of the European clay swing, which is not exactly a surprise. The organizers would be keen to make up for the time lost by the postponement of the Australian Open.
As far as the players are concerned, they would have a host of options at their disposal after the completion of the Melbourne Slam. They can choose to go back to Europe for the indoor events, or travel to South America for the clay events there, or even head straight to the Middle East for the Doha and Dubai double.
ATP looking to maximize opportunities for its players
The ATP has been working overtime to ensure that its players have enough opportunities to compete and earn ranking points as well as prize money. After the tour resumption in August, an event was held every single week leading up to the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.
For the 2021 season, the organizers have squeezed in a trimmed-down version of the ATP Cup as well as two ATP events in the week prior to the Australian Open. They have also moved the Delray Beach and Antalya events to the first week of January.
The firming up of the schedule will enable the players to plan their activity after Melbourne. And among those eagerly awaiting the confirmation of the tournament dates was Roger Federer, who has withdrawn from the Australian Open.
Federer's agent Tony Godsick had stated that the Swiss was likely to make a return in late February. The 20-time Slam champion is currently in Dubai for his off-season training, trying to get his knee in shape as quickly as possible.Published 29 Dec 2020, 19:22 IST