Tennis Australia could have easily scrapped the 2021 Australian Open and reopened the doors to Melbourne Park the following year, CEO Craig Tiley says.
But "we need to do it".
Months of uncertainty about whether the Australian Open would go ahead, and how it'd look if it did, came to an end when Tennis Australia last week announced the iconic event would begin on February 8, three weeks later than usual due to the impact of COVID-19.
Tiley said it was imperative, for a long list of reasons, Australia's grand slam went ahead.
"Obviously we've had to be very persistent because there's been many times where we could have stepped away and said, 'Well it'd be much easier to cancel for 2021'. Financially, it's probably only a line-ball call anyway," Tiley told Wide World of Sports radio.
"But at the end of the day, we have an opportunity to bring in over 1100 people from 130 different countries and we're going to put them in a two-week quarantine, a very strict quarantine regime in partnership with the Victorian government.
"We're going to be able to showcase the best of the best – the top players in the world – for a period of four weeks, providing over $83 million in prizemoney, and have a billion people from all over the world watch what's happening in Melbourne and Victoria and Australia.
"The commentary that'll be put out will be about how Australia has managed this crisis and how community can come together and how we can still do what we do, so I think it's going to be a place for people in the future to want to come.
"I think we're going to have a significant impact, not only on today's economy and psyche, but also into the future.
"So when you look at it that way, we need to do it and that's the approach we've taken."
The pool of prize money for the 2021 edition has remained at the 2020 level, with the full breakdown set to be revealed in the coming weeks.
What's already been confirmed is qualifying for the Australian Open will take place in Doha, the capital city of Qatar, from January 10-13, allowing for competitors to then travel to Australia and spend two weeks in hotel quarantine before the start of the event.
It's also expected a complete suite of the world's best tennis players will touch down in Melbourne, including the injury-hampered Roger Federer, while Tennis Australia has opted not to reduce men's singles from five sets despite the two-week quarantine.
Tiley said it was a major focus of Tennis Australia to make the Australian Open as legitimate as possible.
"We didn't want to have 2021 as an event that has a little asterisk next to it," Tiley said.
"We wanted a full event and that whoever wins it has won it on complete merit like they would in a normal year.
"And the closer to normality the better it is for people's psyche."
World No.1 Serbian Novak Djokovic won the men's singles at the 2020 Australian Open, while star American Sofia Kenin took out the women's singles.