9 January 2017 | Tennis Australia

Tennis fans can pit their wits against friends, family and colleagues in Fantasy Tennis League, which is officially launched today ahead of Australian Open 2017.

Free to enter, Fantasy Tennis League allows entrants to pick a team of players from the ATP and WTA, who will contribute valuable points towards their team’s total.

The competition starts with Australian Open 2017 and culminates in the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, with monthly prizes up for grabs and the overall winner receiving two tickets, flights and accommodation to the final of Australian Open 2018. The runner-up will receive two tickets to an Emirates AO Series event of his or her choice, and all players who enter before 16 January 2017 will also be automatically entered in a ballot to win two tickets to the men’s Australian Open 2017 final.

As well as offering some incredible prizes, Fantasy Tennis League will also enable entrants to go head-to-head with friends and work-mates in private leagues, and to see where they are ranked on a country-by-country basis.

Entrants are given a $100 million budget to select a squad of 16 players, ranging from men’s No.1 Andy Murray (GBR) – the game’s most valuable player at $24,020,000 – down to world No.424 Alexander Lazov (BUL), priced at a bargain $1.45 million.

The most expensive WTA star is Serena Williams (USA) at $19,070,000, followed closely by the woman who replaced her at the top of the WTA Singles Rankings, reigning Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber (GER) ($13,260,000).

Each week eight members of the squad will be able to earn points, with the remaining eight on the bench. The designated Captain each week will earn a 50 percent bonus on his or her points, and the Key Player will also receive a 20 percent points bonus.

One team member will be automatically replaced by a substitute in the event of injury or withdrawal from a tournament. Players can make unlimited changes between their team and their bench in the build-up to each game week, and can also trade in two new squad members on a weekly basis.

The value of each player will fluctuate depending on their form, with players going up in price if they win or perform well in a tournament. The more prestigious tournaments will carry additional weight, with victory in one of the four Grand Slams resulting in a surge in the winner’s points total and value.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said: “The launch of Fantasy Tennis League is an exciting innovation which gives tennis fans across the world the chance to win some fantastic prizes, and compete against one another in private leagues to see who will claim bragging rights.

“We would encourage fans to pick their teams ahead of Australian Open 2017, to ensure they get off to a fast start and have the best possible chance of winning the trip of a lifetime to next year’s final.”

Entrants can still join the game after Australian Open 2017, but will not score any points from the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

To pick your team and for a full breakdown of the rules of the Fantasy Tennis League, please visit: fantasytennisleague.com.