The 2021 calendar puzzle has only just begun, and many tournaments are already worried, hanging on the Australian decision. If the latest trend is confirmed and the first Grand Slam tournament of the year takes place from February 1 in Melbourne, for some it will be a question of saving their skin. Rotterdam’s ATP 500, scheduled for February 6-14, is one of them and should then find new dates. In the meantime, its director Richard Krajicek has spoken on the future conditions of organization of the event.
Despite the coronavirus, it plans to accommodate 3,500 spectators daily in an enclosure that can hold 10,000 at most, i.e. a gauge of 35%. As in the US Open or the last Masters, there will be no linesmen, but an electronic refereeing system for disputed balls. The players, the ball collectors and the chair umpire will be the only ones walking the court.
Rotterdam better see the Australian Open played in March-April
A “bubble” around the tournament will be put in place, following the example of indoor tournaments at the end of the 2020 season. But uncertainties prevent Krajicek from seeing clearly on the future plateau. At this time of year, usually, the Dutchman knows a good part of the future entrants. “My deadline is the end of December. Until then, I have to make agreements with the players. If I don’t do anything, it’s to see who registers. Anyway, there will be 32 at the start. Players who sign up alone will likely be less well known than usual. But maybe not. Maybe everyone wants to play so badly that without me doing anything the best will participatehe acknowledged.
More than ever, the choice of the government of the Australian state of Victoria will have major repercussions. If it is not on the very holding of the tournament (which has strong backs financially), the quality of the tennis offered will depend heavily on it. “If Australia is played in March or April: very good. It is not unfavorable. We will then be part of the first tournament series of the year and the players want nothing more than to play. This can actually have a good effect on the entry level“He said sincerely. But if that were the case, the American Masters 1000 of Indian Wells and Miami would be the victims. Already canceled in 2020, they could not afford it again. ATP is not done with its worries …