10 questions about the 2021 Australian Open – Tickets, schedule, TV broadcasts, prize money

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Find out everything you could possibly need to know about the first Grand Slam of 2021.

When is the Australian Open due to take place in 2021?

The Australian Open is scheduled to start on Monday, January 18, with the men’s final on Sunday, January 31.

Qualifying usually takes place the week before.

However, there are question-marks over the scheduling due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Quarantine requirements and travel restrictions could lead to the tournament taking place later in the year, according to Victoria’s state premier.

Who are the defending champions?

In singles, the defending champions are Novak Djokovic, who beat Dominic Thiem in five dramatic sets in the 2020 final, and Sofia Kenin, who came back from a set down to defeat Garbine Muguruza to lift her first Grand Slam title.

The other champions are as follows:

  • Men’s doubles: Rajeev Ram and Joe Salisbury
  • Women’s doubles: Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic
  • Mixed doubles: Barbora Krejcikova and Nikola Mektic
  • Junior boys’ singles: Harold Mayot
  • Junior boys’ doubles: Nicholas David Ionel and Leandro Riedi
  • Junior girls’ singles: Victoria Jimenez Kasintseva
  • Junior girls’ doubles: Alexandra Eala and Priska Madelyn Nugroho
  • Men’s wheelchair singles: Shingo Kunieda
  • Men’s wheelchair doubles: Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid
  • Women’s wheelchair singles: Yui Kamiji
  • Women’s wheelchair doubles: Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley
  • Quads wheelchair singles: Dylan Alcott
  • Quads wheelchair doubles: Dylan Alcott and Heath Davidson
  • Men’s legends: Tommy Haas and Mark Philippoussis
  • Women’s legends: Daniela Hantuchova and Martina Navratilova

How much prize money do the champions win?

The singles champions take home a cheque for $4,120,000 Australian dollars, with the runners-up getting half that.

Who are the trophies named after?

The men’s singles trophy is named after Norman Brookes, a three-time Grand Slam and six-time Davis Cup champion as well as a former president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia. The women’s singles trophy is named after Daphne Akhurst, a five-time Australian Championships winner (the name of the tournament prior to the Open era), who died in pregnancy at the age of 29.

Who has won the most titles at the Australian Open?

Novak Djokovic has won eight men’s singles titles at the Australian Open, picking up his first in 2008. Margaret Court won 11 women’s singles titles at her home Slam, with her first coming before the Open Era, in 1960. In the Open era, it’s Serena Williams who holds the most Melbourne crowns, with seven – the first coming in 2003, and the most recent famously coming in 2017, when she was pregnant with daughter Olympia.

When was the first Australian Open?

The first Australian Open was held in 1905 – on a grass court. It didn’t move on to hard courts until 1988, when it relocated to the new Melbourne Park complex.

Where is the Australian Open held?

The Australian Open is held at Melbourne Park. Its famous courts include the Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena, named for the country’s legendary tennis stars, plus the Melbourne Arena and two other show courts.

Who will be taking part in 2021?

It’s difficult to say at the moment, although tournament organisers are still hopeful that all the best players in the world will be there and that the authorities will allow them to travel into the country and continue to train as normal – rather than enforcing a two-week quarantine to ensure they are clear of coronavirus.

However, women’s world No 1 Ashleigh Barty is, of course, an Australian, and she has been in her home country since the start of the pandemic – opting out of travelling to either Europe or the US for any events – so she is likely to be the first name on the schedule.

How can I get tickets?

It’s likely to be tough in 2021 unless you’re already in Australia. Due to the pandemic, there are strict quarantine rules and border controls, so it’s possible that tickets will only go on sale to people already in the country.

How can I watch on TV?

That’s more like it. If you’re in Europe, it will be on Eurosport. In the USA, it is broadcast on ESPN and the Tennis Channel, with TSN picking it up in Canada. beIN Sports has the rights in the Middle East and Northern Africa, with SuperSport showing it elsewhere in Africa, and Fox Sports Asia and Sony Six having it in much of Asia. National broadcasters hold the rights in China and Japan.

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