April 2021 will feature some great sporting action, with the 2021 Masters at Augusta National perhaps the most prestigious of them all. The month will also see the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League reach its semi-final stages, whilst cricket’s big money Indian Premier League begins. Two of tennis’ premier events, the Monte-Carlo Masters and Madrid Open return after a two year absence, whilst Round 2 of the Formula One season takes place at Imola.
Covid-19 restrictions continue to be lifted in the United Kingdom, with a semi-final of the FA Cup and the 2021 World Snooker Championship to act as test events ahead of large crowds returning whilst the 2021 Carabao Cup Final has also been mentioned as a possible test event. Unfortunately the Grand National and The Boat Race (which also see’s a change of venue this year) will be held behind closed doors.
Unfortunately the effects of the pandemic are still being felt internationally, with Formula One’s Chinese Grand Prix most likely cancelled for a second successive year. Tennis’ 2021 Billie Jean King Cup Finals has been postponed with a new date yet to be set and the 2021 Boston Marathon moved to the 11th October.
Further details on each of the highlighted events, such as travel and ticket information is available by clicking below.
4th April 2021 (15:50 – Women’s Race & 16:50 – Men’s Race) – River Great Ouse (Ely, Cambridgeshire, England)
The world’s most famous rowing race between Cambridge and Oxford will return after a 2 year absence after being cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will however take place away from its usual course on the River Thames in south west London due to safety concerns with crowds and the Hammersmith Bridge, instead taking place on the River Great Ouse in Ely in Cambridgeshire.
6th & 7th April 2021 (Quarter-Final First Legs), 13th & 14th April 2021 (Quarter-Final Second Legs) & 27th & 28th April 2021 (Semi-Final First Legs)
The UEFA Champions League reaches the last eight stage, with both legs of the Quarter-Final taking place over two weeks in early April and the first leg of the semi-finals at the end of the month. Bayern Munich, Borrusia Dortmund, Chelsea, FC Porto, Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are the remaining teams playing for a place in the Final in Istanbul on the 29th May.
8th April 2021 (Quarter-Final First Legs), 15th April 2021 (Quarter-Final Second Legs) & 29th April 2021 (Semi-Final First Legs)
The UEFA Europa League also reaches the last eight stage, with both legs of the Quarter-Final taking place over two weeks in early April and the first leg of the semi-finals at the end of the month (a day after the Champions League fixtures). Ajax, Arsenal, AS Roma, Dinamo Zagreb, Granada, Manchester United, Slavia Prague and Villarreal are the remaining teams playing for a place in the Final in Gdańsk on the 26th May.
8th-11th April 2021 – Augusta National Golf Club (Augusta, USA)
The first of golf’s majors, the prestigious Masters Tournament will be held on the greens of Augusta National between the 8th and 11th April. Dustin Johnson is the defending champion, winning the delayed 2020 tournament in November with a record score of 20-under-par, five strokes ahead of Im Sung-jae and Cameron Smith.
2021 Indian Premier League (Cricket)
9th April – 30th May 2021 – India
The most valuable cricket league in the world returns this month, with the IPL also returning to India after the delayed 2020 tournament took place in the United Arab Emirates between September and November. The eight team tournament will be held at six different venues across India initially behind closed doors, with no team to play at their home venue. Two time defending champions, the Mumbai Indians will be looking for their sixth title.
The 173rd running of the world famous Grand National will take place at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday 10th April, returning after a 2 year absence after being cancelled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately 2019 winner Tiger Roll will not return seeking a third victory.
The first men’s ATP Tour Masters 1000 clay court event of the season is the 2021 Monte-Carlo Masters, being played after a 2 year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic and takes place at the scenic Monte Carlo Country Club, located on the border of Monaco. Italy’s Fabio Fognini is the defending champion, winning his first Masters event in 2019 after Dušan Lajović 6-3 6-4 in the Final.
16th-18th April 2021 – Imola Circuit (Imola, Italy)
After a thrilling start to the 2021 Formula One season in Bahrain, in which Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton dramatically held off Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in the closing stages, Round 2 will see the return of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola in Italy. The race featured in 2020 to bolster the calendar in Europe after the Covid-19 pandemic had caused issues and was won by Lewis Hamilton.
The premier event on the World Snooker calendar, the 2021 World Snooker Championship takes place at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre between the 17th April and 3rd May. Ronnie O’Sullivan will return, looking to win a record equalling seventh title after winning his sixth title in 2020 after defeating Kyren Wilson 18-8 in the Final. The event will also act as one of the UK government’s pilot events to trial the return of large crowds.
2020/2021 FA Cup Semi-Final (Football)
The two FA Cup semi-finals will take place over the middle weekend in April, ahead of the Final on the 15th May. Chelsea play Manchester City on the Saturday, with Leicester City facing Southampton a day later – both matches taking place at Wembley Stadium. It has been announced that one of the matches (yet to be announced which) will be one of the UK government’s pilot events to trial the return of large crowds.
Wembley Stadium hosts another flagship event a week later, as Manchester City play Tottenham Hotspur in the 2021 Carabao Cup Final. Manchester City at the time of writing were still on course for the quadruple, whilst Tottenham will be looking to win their first trophy since 2008. There is also hope that the match will be one of the UK government’s pilot events that will see a limited number fans able to attend.
30th April – 9th May 2021 – La Caja Mágica (Madrid, Spain)
The joint men’s and women’s tennis tournament, the 2021 Madrid Open will also return after a 2 year absence. The event on the clay courts at the futuristic La Caja Mágica complex will see Novak Djokovic and Kiki Bertens return as defending champions.