- Australian Hostels
Each year, the Australian summer is punctuated by one of Tennis' showpiece events: the Australian Open. In conjunction with a number of smaller tournaments for the visiting superstars to warm up their backhand during, the event represents a sparkling moment in the Aussie sporting calendar and a chance to see the very best make history on the hardcourt. While we're expecting a delayed and COVID-affected Australian Open this year, there should still be plenty of elite tennis on display and YHA has you sorted if you're travelling to Melbourne be there. So pack a water bottle and a hat, string up the racquet and let us fill you in about all the details!
This has been a tumultuous year for tennis globally, with dozens of tournaments (including Wimbledon) cancelled, and many more rescheduled or played without spectators. Tennis was among the sports that suffered from the momentous decision to push back the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to 2021 as well, so on the whole there hasn't been a lot to get excited about for tennis fans.
The lead up to the Australian Open has been no different, with a number of warm up events including the Brisbane, Hobart and Adelaide Internationals cancelled, and the main event itself in the balance as Tennis Australia attempted to buy itself time in light of COVID-19 concerns. The latest news is good, though, and official announcements have confirmed that the summer of tennis and the competition itself will go ahead from the later start date of February 8th 2021. Along with these plans, several smaller preparation tournaments, including a salvaged edition of the ATP Cup, will now be held exclusively in Victoria during the month prior to the main event to prevent unnecessary travel.
The tournament WAS expected to begin on January 18th and run until the 31st. Now, an internal leak and subsequent official word has confirmed that the Open is scheduled for a February 8th start. The delay is reported to be due to plans to make athletes and their entourage quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to train, in order to minimise the risk of COVID being reintroduced. The organisers have been on record stressing that despite the positivity surrounding it, the is still a risk that everything will fall through if there is a sudden worsening of the situation in Victoria.
Officials have confirmed that fans WILL be allowed at the Open, with grounds filled to around 35 percent capacity. The precinct will also be divided into three distinct zones, with attendees required to pick and stick to their chosen zone to help alleviate the risk of COVID-19 transmission. As of the time of writing, tickets are now on sale via the tournament's official website.
The tournament will be held in Melbourne, VIC, the traditional home of Australian tennis and a veritable Mecca for tennis players across the world. Rod Laver Arena hosts the final, and it's in this state of the art ground that greats such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have lifted the trophy over the years. Though the usual TV broadcast options will suit some, if you've been thirsty to see some sporting greatness up close after so many cancellations, the opportunity to see tennis' elite battling it out in our own backyard should be too good to miss.
For those coming from outside of Victoria, accommodation will be the biggest consideration outside of tickets, but don't stress - both Melbourne Central YHA and Melbourne Metro YHA are just minutes away from the action by car, train or tram (remember, masks are currently mandatory on public transport in Melbourne!), and have a range of room types at ultra affordable prices to suit your needs. As far as tickets go, they're on sale via the official website, but with crowd capacities potentially limited, you'll want to act fast to make sure you snap some up!
Check out our round up of other sporting events on this summer!