Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, 2 November 2016 | tennis.com.au

Zhuhai, China is the new home of the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off, where top tennis players from the Asia-Pacific will have the chance to win a coveted main-draw wildcard at Australian Open 2017.

Tennis Australia and local partner Huafa Group made the announcement today against the backdrop of the 2016 Huajin Securities WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, which is currently held this week at the Hengqin International Tennis Centre.

The centre is where the Wildcard Play-off will be staged, in late November.

“We are delighted to announce that the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off for Australian Open 2017 will now take place in Zhuhai, one of the most progressive sporting cities in China for both international and grassroots tennis programs,” said Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley.

“Now in its fifth consecutive year, the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off continues to grow and is now seen as a launching pad for the careers of many emerging players in the region.

“Our champions from 2015, Yoshihito Nishioka from Japan and Han Xinyun from China made the most of their opportunities, both achieving career-high rankings in 2016 following the Australian Open, with Nishioka breaking into the men’s top 100 and Xinyun just shy of the top 100 women’s ranking.

“As the Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific, and the region’s ‘home’ event, the Asia Pacific Wildcard Play-off is a great opportunity to grow interest in our sport and event, and promote the profiles of some of the region’s most talented young athletes,” Tiley said.

Added Zhuhai Huafa Sports Executive Director and General Manager Peter Lv: “It is our pleasure to have the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off for the Australian Open 2017 held at Hengqin Tennis Center, as it will be a great opportunity for players, especially Chinese players, to show their talent on an international stage.

“All staff from Huafa Sports will provide a high standard of service during the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off and we wish to have continuous cooperation with Australian Open to hold more quality tournaments in the future.”

Hot contenders for this year’s Wildcard Play-off include Chinese favourite Di Wu and 2015 AWP finalist Jason Jung (Chinese Taipei), both who will hope to use the tournament to springboard to a similar position come Australian Open 2017.

The Asia-Pacific Australian Open Wildcard Play-off will feature 16-player men’s and women’s singles draws and will take place from 28 November – 4 December 2016 at Hengqin International Tennis Centre.