Melbourne VIC, Australia, 8 August 2013 | Tennis Australia
Emerging Australian tennis players will test their skills in a new level of competition at this year’s Asia Pacific Tennis League (ATL), with the news they will face tennis legend Pat Rafter in a one-off appearance at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday 10 November 2013.
Rafter, the two-time US Open champion and captain of Australia’s Davis Cup team, will return to the court as a member of the Sunshine Coast Breakers in what may be his first competitive singles encounter since retiring from the ATP Tour in 2002.
The Sunshine Coast Breakers will be joined in the coming ATL season by the Beenleigh Blaze, Shaw Park Sharks, Tennis Brisbane Chargers, Tennyson Volt and Toowoomba Tigers.
Conference Director, Matt Richards is excited for what the competition will bring to Queensland, with the release of names including Rafter and other top Queensland players.
“It’s very exciting to see the Queensland Conference of the ATL significantly build on its launch in 2012,” Richards said
“The conference rounds in November will provide the best spectacle of team tennis ever witnessed in Queensland.”
The ATL is a revolution in the sport that took Queensland tennis by storm in its inaugural season in 2012. It will return bigger and better in November this year. With modified rules, a shortened format and some of the finest Queensland players all taking to the court at the one venue, each round of tennis displays the best the game has to offer.
Six teams across South East Queensland are confirmed to compete, bringing a calibre never before seen in a Queensland mixed tennis league. Joining Rafter in these first-class team line-ups will be world No. 153 James Duckworth and Brisbane-born John Millman, who reached an ATP career high ranking of 126 earlier this year after pushing Wimbledon champion Andy Murray to three sets at the Brisbane International in January.
The women’s league features leading Queensland player Isabella Holland as well as emerging Queenslanders and Australian representatives Lizette Cabrera, Naiktha Bains and Priscilla Hon.
“The ATL provides a great opportunity for Queenslanders to see different generations of Australia’s leading tennis players in action at one venue,” continued Richards.
“I would encourage everyone to get along to each of the conference rounds starting on Friday 8 November 2013 at the Shaw Park Tennis Centre.”