One of the best players on the ATP Tour got back onto the court. Also, the Women’s Tennis Association and the Association of Tennis Players decided on their first tournament of 2021. Check out the latest news in our update so you can keep preparing your bets and place them against our Tennis odds.
COVID-19 Tennis Update – December 23rd Edition
2021 Australian Open
- When: February 8, 2021 – February 23, 2021
- Where: Melbourne Australia
Andy Murray returns in a British exhibition series
Andy Murray has a couple of Wimbledon platters and a U.S. Open trophy. The 3-time Grand Slam winner finally got back onto the court in a British exhibition match over the weekend.
Murray beat Britain’s number one player, Dan Evans, in straight sets. Although Murray looked good, the first set was difficult. Evans pushed for a tie-breaker set that Andy won 7-5. Murray took the second set 6-4.
The match happened at the Battle of Britain exhibition series. No ball boys or ball girls are allowed at the event. The Battle of Britain, taking place in Roehampton, is to help British players ready for the Australian Open.
Murray requires more practice than most. He played just seven times this year due to the pandemic as well as an injury. Andy has fallen from the top 4 to 122 in the world. A great showing at the Aussie Open could help him get back into the top 20.
WTA decides on first tournament of the year
The Women’s Tennis Association announced their first tournament of the year. The Abu Dhabi Open gets underway on January 5.
The AB Open is a qualifying tournament for the February 8 Australian Open. Expect some of the top players to throw down at the Abu Dhabi.
The WTA had schedule the Open BLS de Limoges for December 13 through December 20. After the association canceled that tournament, the best in the world will have not played competitively, except maybe in exhibition matches like Murray, since the Upper Austria Ladies Linz in early November.
Even then, top players like Naomi Osaka and Simona Halep skipped the Ladies Linz. The Abu Dhabi Open is especially important for +1000 choice Bianca Andreescu. The 2019 U.S. Open winner suffered an injury that kept her out of the tennis restarts.
Bianca has no idea if she’s ready for the Aussie Open. A nice performance in Abu Dhabi will let us know if she is.
ATP will start Australian Open qualifying on Jan. 10
Men’s qualifying for the Aussie Open happens on January 10 in a tournament in Doha, Qatar. Murray should play in that event.
No word on whether Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal will play. One tennis player who probably won’t is Roger Federer. A couple of weeks ago, FedEx said he may not be ready for the Australian Open.
If he’s on the cusp, if he believes he can play in Melbourne on February 8, he won’t take the chance of reinjuring himself in Doha. So just because Roger doesn’t show up in Qatar in a couple of weeks, it doesn’t mean he won’t play in Australia.
There are no tournaments this week. It’s a good time to handicap for the 2021 majors, the Australian Open, the French Open, the U.S. Open, and Wimbledon.