Nadal, Nishikori, Kerber set for Sydney summer of tennis
Some of the biggest stars in tennis will feature in the Harbour City for Apia International Sydney and the latest FAST4 Showdown.
Sydney is set for a blockbuster week of tennis in January.
World No.4 and 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal returns for FAST4 Showdown AUS v WORLD, while world No.1 Angelique Kerber and No.10 Dominic Thiem will headline the Apia International Sydney.
Spanish great Nadal will be joined in the World team by world No.5 Kei Nishikori to take on the Australian top 20 duo of Nick Kyrgios (ACT) and Bernard Tomic (Qld) at the new International Convention Centre (ICC), Darling Harbour on Monday 9 January 2017.
It will be Nadal’s second time playing FAST4 Tennis in Sydney and he is excited to return.
“I am looking forward to returning to Sydney to play FAST4 Tennis as part of the World team. I have played the format twice now and I think it’s very exciting for both players and fans,” Nadal said
“It’s very easy for the crowd to get involved in the match and it was a great atmosphere earlier this year.”
After an incredible year in which she won the Australian Open, an Olympic silver medal and the US Open as well as dethroning Serena Williams as the world’s top ranked player, Kerber will return to the Apia International Sydney gunning for a perfect start to 2017.
The German is a Sydney fan favourite, having made the event a regular stop since 2009 and finishing runner-up in 2014.
“Sydney is one of my favourite tournaments to start the year at. This will be my fifth year in a row there and I’ve had some great results. It’s always an incredibly strong draw and there are tough matches from the first round. I’m looking forward to coming back,” Kerber said.
Austrian Thiem has been a break-out star of the ATP Tour in 2016, reaching the semifinals of Roland Garros and winning four titles – Nice, Buenos Aires, Acapulco and Stuttgart.
After starting the year at world No. 20, Thiem debuted in the top 10 in June and has remained there since.
“I am very happy to be playing the Apia International Sydney next year,” Thiem said. “This year was my first time in Sydney, unfortunately I was injured but I loved the city and the tournament so I’m excited to come back.”
Four-time Sydney champion and now Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt (SA) will return to Ken Rosewall Arena on Saturday 14 January in a Legends match ahead of the men’s final session. His opponent will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
Apia International Sydney, the fourth oldest tournament on the professional circuit, will mark its 18th staging at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre in 2017, with FAST4 Showdown AUS v WORLD set to make its debut in the 8000 seat ICC Sydney Theatre.
ICC Sydney CEO Geoff Donaghy said the new world class venue was designed to hold multiple, concurrent events and add to the dynamism and diversity of Sydney and the Darling Harbour precinct.
“From business events to entertainment to sport, I think people will be surprised just how much ICC Sydney has to offer. We are very excited to be kicking off our sports program with FAST4 Tennis in January 2017 in a world class facility, run by a world class team, on one of the world’s most spectacular harbours,” he said.
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres said that FAST4 Tennis will kick off the incredible Sydney Summer of tennis, which promises to be the biggest and best yet.
“Sydney is the birthplace of FAST4 tennis, and it’s fitting that the newest and most exciting form of the game takes place at the newest and most exciting sporting venue – the ICC.”
Tennis NSW CEO and Apia International Sydney Tournament Director Alistair MacDonald said the calibre of talent coming to Sydney in January was extremely exciting.
“To have four top 20 players secured for our third FAST4 Tennis event and two top 10 players headlining Apia International Sydney is a great win for tennis in Sydney and really highlights how much the world’s best players want to play in our city,” MacDonald said
“There is so much to look forward to in January from the spectacle of FAST4 Tennis in the new ICC Sydney Theatre, to probably the most in-form player in the world in Kerber and an absolute star of the future in Thiem hitting our courts.
“On top of this, we are really pleased the NSW Government Office of Sport will imminently commence work on a feasibility study to assess potential demand, size, scope and location for a new multi-purpose indoor arena in Sydney. This is an important milestone for our sport.
“I really encourage everyone to get along to one or both events this January and soak in what will be an epic week of tennis.”
FAST4 Showdown AUS v WORLD will take place on Monday 9 January 2017 at the International Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, with the NSW Government’s tourism and major event’s agency Destination NSW as strategic partner.
Apia International Sydney 2017, proudly supported by Apia in association with Peugeot and Destination NSW, will take place at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from 8-14 January 2017.
Tickets for both events will be on sale from 12pm, Wednesday 12 October 2016 via ticketek.com.au or by calling 1300 888 104.