Ashleigh Barty was among six of the world's top 10 women's players that chose not to travel to New York for the US Open ©Getty Images

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley believes "all the top players" will be in Melbourne for the first tennis Grand Slam of 2021.

The US Open, currently being held behind closed doors at Flushing Meadows, has been hit with a long list of withdrawals with several players citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina were among six of the women's world top 10 that chose not to travel to New York.

Reigning US Open champion Rafael Nadal also withdrew but is expected to play in the French Open, which is due to take place later this month, while Roger Federer is another notable absentee after ruling himself out for the rest of 2020 due to injury.

In early August, the state of Victoria – where the Australian Open is staged – imposed new lockdown measures after a spike in coronavirus infections.

But in a message to fans, Tiley reiterated his relief that the tournament will go ahead from January 18 to 31, as planned.

The Tennis Australia chief executive reckons there might be "limited fans on site" but is determined to create "wow experiences" at Melbourne Park and is optimistic that a plethora of stars will be on show.

"It's great to have an opportunity to be in front of you and give you an update on what is happening with the Australian Open in 2021," Tiley said.

"First off, I hope that you are all safe and well and thank you for your incredible loyalty, your friendship and your support of the Australian Open.

"You are very special guests.

Tournament director Craig Tiley is confident the Australian Open will go ahead in January ©Getty Images
Tournament director Craig Tiley is confident the Australian Open will go ahead in January ©Getty Images

"The Australian Open in 2021 will be different. 

"We are in a different world today.

"While we are known as the happy slam, in 2021 it's going to be 'the very safe and happy slam'.

"We will continue to ensure that you will have the wow experiences that you are so used to us delivering on, and in 2021 we are going to have all the players and all the top players.

"It will be a special year. 

"While we may have limited fans on site and a limited number on site, we are not going to limit the great experience that we provide all of our loyal supporters like yourselves.

"In the meantime, stay safe, stay healthy, we look forward to being in touch and we definitely look forward to welcoming you to a very special Australian Open in 2021."