Novak Djokovic says he still does not know whether the ATP Cup will take place but he remains optimistic some tournaments will be allowed to go ahead in the state of Victoria.
Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley has said all the Australian Open warm-up events, including the ATP Cup, will be held in the state of Victoria next year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, although state premier Daniel Andrews said that is “not a done deal”.
Players will have to undergo a two-week quarantine period before being cleared to play in Australia ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.
That would post logistical problems as they would have to arrive in the country far earlier than usual.
This year’s ATP Cup was staged across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney with the final in Sydney.
Under the new plan, that would be impossible with players restricted to Victoria where they will be free to move around once they have completed a two-week quarantine.
Djokovic said: “I have been in touch with Craig, with Andre Sa, as well, that works with Tennis Australia. We are trying to get information. I think they have been terrific in communicating and representing players and trying to fight for best possible conditions that could be available to us under the circumstances.
“From what I have heard and what I know of the latest news from Tennis Australia is that the Australian Open and the rest of the tournaments will be held in Victoria state, mostly Melbourne and around Melbourne. I saw the WTA came out with a calendar, as well.
“I have not noticed much of a doubt whether the tournaments will happen or not. There is going to be quarantine of 14 days. But obviously we still don’t know whether we choose where we do quarantine.
“It is challenging, I must say. We don’t know whether ATP Cup is happening. Obviously you want things to be ideal, but what is ideal in these circumstances? We just have to wait and see, I guess.
“I hope that it will happen. I want to play the Australian Open. I’m not sure about the ATP Cup and the tournaments before because obviously you have to leave quite in advance, actually, I think two and a half or three weeks prior to the first match.”
The global nature of tennis’ calendar and participants presents major challenges in the midst of a pandemic and there is significant uncertainty over what tournaments will take place after the Australian swing.
Djokovic said: “I heard that the Middle East tournaments are going to happen. I sincerely hope everything will happen as normal. But probably what we will have to expect is to play with less crowd or maybe no crowd at all, at least for the next couple of months.”
The world No 1, who is chasing a record-equalling sixth title at the season-ending ATP Finals in London, dropped just five games in beating Argentine debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3 6-2 in an hour and 18 minutes on Monday.
His victory over Schwartzman took his record to 12-1 in opening matches at the ATP Finals, with his only loss coming to David Ferrer on his debut in 2007.
This is the final event of a truncated season but, such is the relentless nature of the tennis calendar, the new campaign is due to start in only seven weeks.