Zhuhai, Guangdong, China, 10 November 2017 | australianopen.com

The Australian Open 2018 Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off (AWP) will return to China’s sporting capital of Zhuhai later this month.

Now in its sixth year, top players from the Asia-Pacific will compete for a coveted Australian Open 2018 main draw wildcard at the world class Hengqin International Tennis Center.

Leading the men’s field this year is Soon Woo Kwon from Korea and China’s No.1 ranked player Ze Zhang.

Chinese favourite Di Wu and US Open junior winner Yibing Wu will also be contenders for the desired Wildcard.

 Misaki Doi from Japan and last year’s runner-up Kai-Chen Chang from Chinese Taipei will headline the women’s event.

Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin won the play-off in 2017 and used his Australian Open wildcard to devastating effect, defeating former world No.1 Novak Djokovic in what was one of the upsets of the tournament.

We are delighted to confirm that the Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off will return to Hengqin International Tennis Center for a second year,” AWP Tournament Director Isabelle Gemmel said.

“Zhuhai is one of the most progressive sporting cities in China and we are delighted to work with Huafa Sports to continue to grow our sport and attract new audiences to tennis.

“The venue is the perfect showcase for what promises to be some high quality tennis.”

Added Executive of Zhuhai Huafa Sports Management Cooperation Peter Lv: “We are honoured to participate in the Australian Open and host the 2018 Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off for a second year.

“We will maintain the highest level of standard at the Hengqin Tennis Center, home to the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai, and will provide players with an outstanding match experience.”

The Asia-Pacific Wildcard Play-off will feature 16-player men’s and women’s singles draws, as well as doubles and junior events.

It will take place from 28 November – 3 December 2017 at Hengqin International Tennis Centre.

To view the full entry list and for further information please visit ausopenwildcard.com

Australian Open 2018 Asia-Pacific fast facts

  • More than 278 million hours of Australian Open broadcast were watched in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Massive year-on-year growth in China saw more than 59 million people tune in to watch AO 2017, up more than 84 percent on AO 2016
  • Japanese attendance figures doubled in 2017 due to rising popularity of Kei Nishikori and launch of Japanese language ticketing website in Japan
  • Dedicated office in Hong Kong
  • Broadcast arrangements with major Japanese broadcasters WOWOW and NHK, and recently extending and expanding long term broadcast relationship with iQIYI to 2021.
  • The top four viewing audiences by territory were Australia, China, Japan and the US
  • China overtook Japan in 2017 to become the number one Asia-Pacific territory by hours viewed
  • China was the largest growth in terms of viewing audience by any territory worldwide.

Australian Open 2018, presented by Kia Motors in association with ANZ, Jacob’s Creek and Rolex, will take place at Melbourne Park from 15-28 January.

Australian Open tickets are now on sale at ticketek.com.au.