Originally planned for a start on 18 January next year, the Australian Open was been pushed back by 3 weeks for a delayed start on 8 February, running through to 21st. The qualifiers for the men's bracket will be held in Doha, Qatar whilst Australia will continue to host a series of build-up events including the flagship ATP Cup, as announced by the men's ATP Tour.
These new dates are the result of protracted talks between Tennis Australia and state authorities in Melbourne, which emerged from a months-long lockdown in October following a second wave of COVID-19.
Players will now arrive in Australia from 15 January serve two weeks in a bio-secure bubble, and details are being worked out whether they will be able to train in isolation.
World number one Novak Djokovic is expected to be back and aiming for a ninth Australian Open title after overcoming Austria's Dominic Thiem in a five-set final earlier this year.
But there is doubt over Swiss great Roger Federer, 39, who revealed this week he was in a "race against time" to be fit as his recovery from two rounds of knee surgery takes longer than expected.
American Sofia Kenin is expected to defend her maiden Grand Slam crown after defeating Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in three sets in this year's women's final.