Melbourne, 8 December 2010 | tennis.com.au
Jelena Dokic has returned to Australia and will compete in the Australian Open Play-off commencing on Tuesday 14 December at Melbourne Park.
Dokic won the AO Play-off in 2008, setting up her dramatic run to the quarterfinals at the Australian Open in 2009.
The winners of the Australian Open Play-off will be awarded a coveted wildcard into the main draw of Australian Open 2011.
Other players confirmed include Australia’s No.2 and Davis Cup stalwart Peter Luczak (Vic) and 2010’s big improvers, Matt Ebden (WA), Marinko Matosevic (Vic) and John Millman (Qld). Also in the spotlight will be rising star Bernard Tomic, recognised as Junior Athlete of the Year (male) at last week’s Newcombe Medal, Australian Tennis Awards.
Joining Dokic in the women’s draw are past play-off winner and former world No.8 Alicia Molik (Vic), Sophie Ferguson (NSW), Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sally Peers (Vic), silver medallist Olivia Rogowska (Vic), and promising 16-year-old Viktorija Rajicic of Victoria.
Other players to watch out for are Junior Wimbledon finalist Benjamin Mitchell (Qld) and former junior world No.1 Jason Kubler, who made his Grand Slam debut against Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic in the first round of this year’s Australian Open.
This year the men’s event will be a knock-out tournament, while the women’s draw will compete in a round-robin format before moving into a knock-out phase from the quarterfinals.
The play-off also provides opportunities for successful junior players, with the winners of this week’s Optus 18s Australian Championships granted a wildcard entry into the main draw of the Australian Open play-off and qualifying draw of Australian Open 2011.
The final field will be announced on Friday, with a further eight places to be confirmed into the men’s event and five into the women’s.
The Australian Open play-off is the finale of this year’s December Showdown, the curtain-raiser for the tennis season in Australia. The event brings together the best players in each age group for a three-week carnival at Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open.
For more information about this year’s Australian Open play-off, December Showdown, Optus Junior Tour, Tennis Australia or the players, visit www.tennis.com.au.
Selected Australian Open Play-off matches will again be live streamed through www.tennis.com.au.