With the start of the 2021 Australian Open set to get underway on Monday, Feb. 8, it’s time to find out what’s going on in and around the first grand slam major of the year. In today’s COVID-19 dominated times, the major news surrounding the Aussie Open is all about managing the pandemic in the best interests of the ATP and WTA tour players that will be in action in approximately two weeks. Let’s take a closer look to our Tennis News update so you can keep preparing your bets and place them against their Australian Open odds.
Updated 2021 Australian Open News
Things Not Fine and Dandy For Andy!
Former world No. 1 Andy Murray has entered a lower-tier challenger tournament in Italy next month after withdrawing from the Australian Open. The three-time major winner tested positive for COVID-19 shortly before he was due to board a charter flight to Melbourne, where he had been given a wild-card entry.
Now, Murray will play an indoor tournament in Biella, Italy starting Feb. 15, the Italian Tennis Federation said Wednesday. Murray is currently ranked 123rd as he works his way back from hip issues that led to two operations.
Rafa, Kyrgios, Rip Novak A New One!
Nick Kyrgios and Rafael Nadal, among with a bunch of other players, are not happy with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The mercurial Kyrgios called the Serbian’s ill-fated Adria Tour in June “boneheaded” and described Djokovic as a “tool” last week when he wrote to Australian Open organizers asking for the easing of quarantine conditions.
“He is one of our leaders of our sport. He’s technically our LeBron James in the way he has to be setting an example for all tennis players,” Kyrgios said of the 17-time Grand Slam champion in an interview with CNN.
Nadal also ripped Djokovic’s recent actions – although he didn’t mention the Serbian by name.
“Some need to make public everything they do to help others,” Nadal said. “Others do it in a more private way without having to publish or advertise everything we’re doing. The calls we make to help the most disadvantaged players, some of us don’t need to want to advertise on it.”
“At the time of talking about fair play or equal conditions, people don’t tend to complain about the position of those who are worse off than them. In the end we all try to get the most out of our possibilities and help each other.”
One Woman’s Trash Is Another Woman’s Treasure
While former world No. 1 and two-time slam winner Victoria Azarenka admitted she “cried” over her Aussie Open quarantine, the incomparable Serena Williams praised officials for their diligence against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It took me a day because, and this was the most difficult part about it, there’s nothing you can do about it,” Azarenka recently told ESPN over a Zoom call. “I think that’s where the emotions kind of get really high and frustrating, because even if you try to do something, there’s really nothing you can do about it. And honestly, I didn’t fight it. I gave myself one day to feel bad for myself and be emotional.
Williams, had a completely different take on the quarantine situation. In an interview with late night US TV host Stephen Colbert the 23-time grand slam champion said Australia was “doing it right” when it came to border controls.
“So when we come here in Australia, everyone has to quarantine in a room for 14 days and it’s insane and it’s super intense but it’s super good because after that you can have a new normal like we were used to last year this time in the United States.”
Williams traveled to Australia with her daughter Olympia.
“It’s definitely hard with the three-year-old to be in the hotel all day, but it’s worth it because you want everyone to be safe at the end of the day,” she said.
The Fan Zone
The Australian Open will have spectators with organizers hoping for between 50-75 percent capacity, though the official number won’t be finalized in February. Melbourne Park will be split into three distinct ticketed zones, to effectively “bubble” fans.
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