Australian Open 2021 – What’s Going On?

australian-open-tennis

It’s been a weird year for sport – well it’s been a weird year full stop really. For the longest time we didn’t know if the world’s biggest sporting events would go ahead at all, but now (barring any immediate discoveries) it looks like pro tennis is back underway.

Still, in these uncertain times anything can happen, so we’ve put together a guide to the goings on down at the Australian Open this month. Will it happen? Who’s playing? Who’s the farite? It’s all here.

When is it – if ever?

Scheduled to start on February 8, the Australian open takes place over about 2 weeks (global disasters permitting), so it should be ending about Feb 22 if all goes well.

And by “well” we mean “as well as it can go”, because this competition has already been rearranged from Jan 18 to Feb 8. It goes without saying that organised sport is having a nightmare trying to schedule their annual tournaments safely – and tennis is no exception.

As recently as Feb 3, there have been reports of a case of COVID in one of the hotels that players and staff are staying in, meaning they’ll all have to be properly tested and checked before we can actually get underway. We know, we know, we’re sick of all this too.

Who’s competing?

Well again, catastrophe’s aside, the Australian Open is scheduled to feature the biggest names in tennis. The top 123 seeds are all included, so there’s some seriously juicy sport cooking up for this one – it’ll be just like old times.

If you don’t know tennis all that well, we’re talking: Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, Thiem and Medvedev, plus another 118 of the best tennis players in the world battling it out for the Oceanic title.

So who’s the favorite?

If you know anything about tennis, you know Djokovic is basically always the favourite. The man oozes consistency and although he’s not in the absolute prime of his life anymore, he’s the number one seed and therefore, by definition almost, the favourite to win the whole thing.

Nadal, Thiem and Medvedev are up there as second favourites, all having odds of about 5/1 to take the whole tournament.

It’s important to remember though that anything can happen in tennis – regularly we see outside contestants come out of nowhere and pull something out of the bag, so if you get a good feeling about one of the players come tournament time, think about having a punt.

Will there be fans there?

It looks like the Australian Open will be operating at somewhere between 50-75% crows capacity, which is no small feat in these trying times. If you’re one of the lucky so-and-so’s that’s managed to bag a ticket to this event, we all envy you.

Pro sport finally getting fans back in the stadium is great for us as spectators and also for the players. We need that mega rush of a crowd cheers after an ace, that groan when a stretched-for ball doesn’t quite connect, those hilarious random shouts that we can never quite understand – fans coming back will be a breath of fresh air.

Where can I watch it?

ESPN will be covering the Australian Open in the US, and you can find everything you need to enjoy the competition on their channels. For the UK, it’s the BBC – in fact, you’ll probably be able to find live coverage of the Aus Open on whichever channel usually shows the most sport.

Failing that, there are actually multiple apps live streaming the Aus Open, meaning if there’s no way to watch the live sovereign in your country you could download one of these apps and jump into the fun. If you’re looking to have a little flutter on the matches, be sure to check out our best tennis odds to ensure you’re in the know.

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