December Showdown celebrates 10 years
Each December the country’s best players assemble at Melbourne Park for the December Showdown, with more than 1500 matches played over 16 days and the Australian Open Play-off as its centrepiece.
Australia’s best emerging tennis players will compete at the 10th annual December Showdown taking place at Melbourne Park from Saturday 2 to Sunday 17 December 2017.
The nation’s biggest tennis competition will determine Australia’s top boy and girl in the 12s, 14s, 16s and 18s national championships with 1500 matches to be played over 16 days.
The all-important Australian Open 2018 Play-off will feature 16 Australian men and women competing in a knock-out tournament for a coveted main draw wildcard.
An additional wildcard is available for the winner of the girls’ 18-and-under tournament and the Australian Open 2018 Women’s Doubles Play-off will return for the second consecutive year as the hype builds before the first Grand Slam of the year.
This year’s December Showdown will again feature two rising stars of Australian tennis in Destanee Aiava (Vic) and Jaimee Fourlis (Vic).
Seventeen-year-old Aiava has had a breakout year, ending 2017 ranked a remarkable 150 in the world, and will put everything she has into winning the 18/u Australian Championships, and the chance of a second appearance at her home Grand Slam.
“My goal is to definitely win it,” Aiava said.
“I’m really focused on trying to play my best in the 18s, and not look too far ahead to the play-off yet, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
“I’ve been playing December Showdown since I was 10 years old, starting in the 12s nationals, I lost my first round love and love, I remember the match clearly, it was against Lizette (Cabrera).
“Two years after that I won that title (12-and-under) and hopefully I can get another title under my belt at this year’s event.”
Fourlis is returning to Melbourne Park where she won her first Grand Slam match in January, ending the year ranked No.327.
“I think I’ve had a really solid year,” Fourlis said.
“I haven’t played as much tennis as I would’ve liked, but the tennis I have played has been really good and of a really good quality so hopefully that will continue and roll onto next year.”
“I think nationals are a great way to play against fellow Australians and to see where you are at and how you field against other players… it’s a great way to get an insight into what it’s like to play an Australian Open.”
December Showdown Tournament Director Francis Soyer said all is ready for another successful few weeks, a vital and important part of the Australian tennis calendar.
“2017 will mark the 10th year of December Showdown, which has become a significant part of the Australian junior tennis performance pathway,” Soyer said.
“December Showdown is a great way for junior players to benchmark themselves against their peers.
“The event is open to the public throughout the two weeks and we invite fans, families and locals to come down and watch some of Australia’s best tennis players at Melbourne Park.”
The field for the Australian Open 2018 Play-off will be announced next week.
December Showdown was first introduced by Tennis Australia in 2008.
|2-7 December||14/u Australian Championships|
|2-9 December||18/u Australian Championships|
|8-11 December||12/u and 14/u Australian Teams Championships|
|11-17 December||Australian Open 2018 Play-off|
|11-15 December||Australian Open 2018 Women’s Doubles Play-off|
|12-17 December||12/u Australian Championships|
|12-17 December||16/u Australian Championships|
Follow all December Showdown news, draws and orders of play and live scores – or download the Tennis Ticker app. Live streaming of the Australian Open 2018 Play-off will be available from 11-17 December via tennis.com.au.
Entry to December Showdown is free.