While No. 1 Novak Djokovic‘s participation in the Australian Open is still up in the air, the rest of the tennis world returns to work this week to prepare for the season’s first major, which begins on January 17 at Melbourne Park. The men’s ATP Cup team event has been underway in Sydney since the weekend, and three tune-up events are being held in Melbourne this week as part of Tennis Australia’s Summer Set of tournaments—two WTA and one ATP.
This week in Adelaide, there is a combined ATP and WTA tournament. Both Adelaide and Sydney will host ATP-WTA tournaments next week. Djokovic has yet to make an appearance.
Craig Tiley, the chief executive of the Australian Open, thinks there is still a lot to work out before Djokovic, the nine-time champion, arrives in Australia. The world number one has declined to say whether he has been vaccinated against COVID-19, which is required to compete in Melbourne. However, there has been speculation that Djokovic may seek a medical exemption to compete in the tournament as he seeks a record-tying 21st Grand Slam singles title. With 20 points, he is tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Last Monday, Djokovic withdrew from Serbia’s ATP Cup team.
“We’ve still got a few charter flights coming in until the end of this week and then all the players will be here,” Tiley said.
“As far as the status relates to Novak, I think we’ll have a much clearer picture in the coming days otherwise it’s getting pretty late to show up and play the Australian Open. There’s quite a bit to play out and I think it will play out in the coming days,” he added.
The WTA tournament in Melbourne this week will be headlined by Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep, while Rafael Nadal, who is recovering from COVID-19, is the top seed at the ATP event at Melbourne Park. Second-seeded Reilly Opelka, Nick Kyrgios, and Grigor Dimitrov are also in the ATP tournament.
Ash Barty, the top-ranked and Wimbledon winner, will be joined by Coco Gauff, Iga Swiatek, and Aryna Sabalenka in Adelaide. The No. 1 seed in the Adelaide ATP tournament is Gael Monfils, while Karen Khachanov is seeded second. Maria Sakkari, the third seed, defeated Tamara Zidansek 6-2, 0-6, 6-4 in the first round of the WTA event in Adelaide on Monday.