Melbourne VIC, Australia, 2 December 2014 |

What is it?

Every December the country’s best players assemble at Melbourne Park for the December Showdown. In 16 days, more than 2000 matches will be played to find out who the best players are across each junior age group. The centrepiece of the December Showdown is the Australian Open Wildcard Play-off, which sees elite Australian players battling it out for a prized main draw wildcard at Australian Open 2015.

When is it?

The December Showdown is being staged from 6-21 December 2014, with matches commencing at 9am in the junior events (and at 8.30am on 13 and 14 December). Australian Open wildcard Play-off action kicks off from Monday 15 December each day at 10am, with the semifinals and finals starting at 11am.

What events are being held?

Event Date
Australian Open 2015 Wildcard Play-off 15-21 December
18/u Australian Championships 6-13 December
16/u Australian Championships 16-21 December
14/u Australian Championships 6-11 December
14/u Australian Teams Championships 12-15 December
12/u Australian Championships 16-21 December
12/u Australian Teams Championships 12-15 December

Who’s playing?

The Australian Open Wildcard Play-off is open to 16 men and 16 women. Twelve players will receive direct acceptance into the men’s draw, with the remaining four spots going to wildcards, while the women’s event features the top eight players ranked outside the Australian Open main draw cut-off and then eight wildcards. Both events feature knock-out draws, and all men’s matches will be contested as best-of-five sets.

The 18/u Australian Championships is a 16-player round-robin draw, comprised of 10 direct acceptances – based on ATP/WTA rankings, then ITF junior top 100 rankings, then Australian Rankings – as well as four wildcards and two qualifiers.

The best 20 junior players – according to the Australian rankings – receive direct entry into the 12s and 14s events, with the remaining entries coming from a mix of wildcards, qualifiers, international invitations and state championship event winners to complete the 64-player fields. The 16s event is a 32-player knockout draw made of 16 direct acceptances and the rest a mix of wildcards, qualifiers and state championship event winners. The 18s championship

Keep visiting each day as we profile some of the best junior prospects in action during the December Showdown.

The full fields for all events will be available this week.

How can I follow the action?

Great news – spectator entry during the December Showdown is free! However, if you can’t make it down to Melbourne Park to catch the action in person, there are plenty of other ways you can keep track of all the happenings:

Live stream
The Australian Open Wildcard Play-off live stream this year features several unique ways for fans to get involved. While watching live from your desktop, mobile or tablet, you can join in the coverage – the commentary team is dedicated to covering the social chatter.

  • share your thoughts on the match via our @AustralianOpen twitter feed
  • directly ask players questions while they guest commentate
  • provide analysis in our mid-match Google Hangouts
  • explore the AO site with our roving cameras visiting the areas you want to see
  • tell us where you’d like to see innovative new camera positions – on a ball boy? on the umpire’s chair?

Social media
The Australian Open’s social media channels are a great way to stay abreast of all the December Showdown action. In addition to interacting with the live stream, you can follow live scores on Twitter, find summaries and photo galleries on Facebook and enjoy behind-the-scenes, around-the-grounds coverage via Instagram. This will be complemented with coverage of players and other parts of the Showdown on Tennis Australia’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

> check out our December Showdown page