by Bob Stockton
COVID-19 has already led to endless postponements and cancellations of events and it appeared we were now getting to the other side, before further issues have arisen. This is set to lead to complications in the tennis world and 2020 even saw Wimbledon cancelled, so could we yet see more of the same in 2021?
First up in 2021 when it comes to Grand Slams is the Australian Open, which will start in early February. Organisers chartered 18 planes from three separate locations in order to get both players and staff to the venue safely. Each plane flew at 20 per cent capacity in order to further protect those involved and should hopefully mean that the event takes place as expected. This was recently stated by Craig Tiley, who is part of Tennis Australia and he was still bullish that the event would be going ahead but organising the planes had been a difficult task, with some COVID positive cases reported already. He said, ‘There have been some unavoidable delays finalising flight details for players, there are a lot of pieces to this logistical puzzle. We appreciate your patience and are conscious that timelines are very tight.’ This further backs up the logistical issues of COVID and ensuring this event can proceed.”
When we finally reach the event, it is set to be all about Novak Djokovic, who is the overwhelming favourite for the men’s tournament. He is priced up at a general 6/4 favourite and is set to come in for some major support, as he looks to continue his drive to the top of the all-time Grand slam charts. Fans have been supporting him from around the world with Canada even proving a popular location for support of the number one at sports interaction 2021. The support behind the 33-year-old for the Australian open is little surprise, as he enters having won the tournament on eight separate occasions and has also won for each of the last two years. Djokovic has been the dominating force at the tournament, so will again be looking to kick start his year with a Grand slam title victory, which he will also hope is the first of many. 2020 saw him beat Dominic Thiem in the final, following a tight five set affair and 2021 is likely to be no different, with Thiem again set to be one of the key challengers for the title.
It now sets up for a fascinating tournament ahead, as anticipation continues to build ahead of the opening Grand slam of 2021.