Barty and Serena will be in the two tournaments leading up to the Australian Open in Melbourne

The australian Ashleigh barty, number one in the world and who has not played for eleven months, and the American Serena Williams, winner of 23 Grand Slam titles, will participate in the two WTA tournaments to be played in Melbourne before the Australian Opentheir organizers announced this Thursday.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which is disrupting the resumption of the 2021 tennis season, the Australian Open has been postponed for three weeks and will be held from February 8-21.

Players will arrive in Australia on January 15 to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed on all foreign arrivals before participating in tournaments at the Australian Open venue, Melbourne Park, between January 31 and January 6. February.

Barty he chose his land to return to the slopes eleven months after his last appearance. The young player did not participate last season in the US Open or Roland Garros, which she won in 2019, for fear of the pandemic.

Along with her, the organization announced the presence of the Romanian Simona halep, number 2 in the world, the American Sofia Kenin, winner in Australia in 2020, the Japanese Naomi osaka, winner of the US Open, the Belarusian Victoria Azarenka or the german Angelique kerber.

In the male category, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, world number one and defending champion, and Rafael Nadal, number 2, will compete at the same time in the ATP Cup, a team event created by the ATP in which twelve nations will participate.

Those who are not classified for this competition, such as the Belgian David goffin, the swiss Stan wawrinka, the Bulgarian Grigor dimitrov or the australian Nick kyrgios, they will compete in two ATP 250 tournaments to be held simultaneously from January 31 to February 6.

Australia has largely contained the new coronavirus, although new outbreaks of the pandemic in Sydney and Melbourne have forced authorities to reintroduce some restrictions, including closing state borders. Following a second wave of Covid-19, Melbourne did not emerge from a multi-month quarantine until October, complicating Grand Slam planning.