The Australian Open will revert to its January start date in 2022 after delaying the event earlier this year because of covid quarantine restrictions in the country.

The main draw is scheduled to start on January 17, but qualifying tournaments will again take place in the Middle East over Christmas.

The women’s preliminary event is set to take place in Dubai with the men in Abu Dhabi.

The finals of both events are being planned for December 23, with charter flights departing for Melbourne immediately after that.

Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley has said players who are vaccinated would be treated differently.Photo: Tennis Australia/ FIONA HAMILTON

Australian Open officials are still working on the plan as Melbourne is still in covid lockdown, with street riots this week protesting against the harshest conditions in any western city.

Victorian health officials in Melbourne want players and their teams to arrive early to go into a form of quarantine – yet to be determined – within a controlled bubble.

Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley said players who are vaccinated would be treated differently from those who are not, with more freedoms and looser quarantine offered to the double-jabbed.

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