Brisbane is taking shape as a potential venue for the tournament in late February – it has been classified as a WTA 500 event – it will be played shortly after the Open from 22 February.
As a logical challenge for Tennis Australia, the five simultaneous events in Melbourne Park a week before the Australian Open are the ATP Cup men’s team event with Wildcard Australia, two WTA 500 events and two ATP 250 national tournaments.
That week’s women’s events will be known as the Gipsland Trophy and Yara Valley Classic, while the men’s events will be known as the Great Ocean Road Open and the Murray River Open.
Star Stud Fields has 49 of the top 50 female players in the world committed to competing in women’s events. There will be a draw of 644 players in each event, the top 32-ranked player will be split in two weeks and the rest of the players will draw randomly.
Alex D’Minn and John Millman will not represent Australia in the ATP Cup with a single spot, while Nick Kyrgios will play for Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov and growing Canadian Felix Auger-Aliasim, as well as Murray River Open.
The tournaments will begin shortly after the mandatory two-week separation period expires, with more than 1,000 tennis players and officials staying at several hotels in Melbourne. The players secure the opportunity for five hours of training and treatment each day while in isolation.
Tennis Australia was involved in complex discussions with the Victorian government and health authorities, including the ATP and WTA Tour, to move forward with the late Australian Open. It has kept a close eye on border closures caused by coronavirus restrictions with its scheduled decision.
Bertie will appear in a public appearance in Brisbane on Friday to outline his game commitments for the summer.