The 2021 ATP Cup is almost certain to be cancelled, although formal confirmation is still awaited.
The 24-naton mens event was due to begin on January 4th, with matches spread across three Australian cities Sydney, Perth, and Brisbane. However, with the continued uncertainty about quarantine requirements for players entering Australia, it is deemed impractical to hold the event this time.
The tournament meant to rival the Davis Cup was only held for the first time earlier this year in January and provided a high-profile warm-up to the Australian Open. It attracted all the worlds best tennis players and was a major success with the crowds and the sponsors. Serbia, led by Novak Djokovic, won the inaugural event.
The tournament is expected to return in 2022.
The timing of the Australian Open remains up in the air, meanwhile, with organisers locked in discussions with the State of Victoria government about the Covid-19 protocols which will need to be put in place if the event is to be held safely. It was due to begin on January 18th, but current expectations are that it will now be delayed for a week or two.
That will allow all players to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine period first.
It does though now look as If players will be allowed to train whilst in self-isolation, provided that they take appropriate measures such as practicing social distancing and wearing masks to and from the practice courts.
There is no clarity yet either as to whether fans will be allowed to attend the tournament and, if so, in what numbers. 20,000 spectators 50% of the grounds capacity watched the first ODI between Australia and India on Friday.
Sydney though is in New South Wales, whilst Melbourne is in Victoria which had to deal with a particularly virulent second wave of the virus earlier this year.
Friday, though, marked 28 days since the last reported locally acquired transmission of the virus.