Nishikori spent 10 months on the sidelines after undergoing elbow surgery and was slated to return at this year's U.S. Open but pulled out after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Nishikori was the first man from Asia to reach a Grand Slam final when he finished runner-up at the 2014 U.S. Open but has struggled for consistency at the highest level, lifting just one ATP Tour title in the past four seasons.
The WTA is planning to start the 2021 season in the first week of January outside Australia before the players travel to Melbourne for quarantine ahead of the Grand Slam, women's tour chief Steve Simon told Reuters. Simon did not provide details of where the tour might start. Both the WTA and the ATP are expected to confirm their 2021 tour calendars once the details of the Australian Open are approved by the local authorities.
Tennis Australia is awaiting confirmation from the Victorian state government on its plans for the Aussie Open amid reports that it won't not start until Feb. 8.