Nick Kyrgios and Ash Barty lead stellar fields for Melbourne Summer Series
A stellar field is set for the Melbourne Summer Series, with world No.1 Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios confirmed to make their first competitive appearances in 11 months.
Australian superstars Ash Barty and Nick Kyrgios headline a blockbuster Melbourne Summer Series at Melbourne Park from 31 January to 6 February 2021.
The Australian summer of tennis kicks off with two WTA 500 and two ATP 250 tournaments, featuring the world’s best players competing for more than $2.2 million (AUD) in prize money.
The tournaments will be named to recognise key regions of Victoria, as the Melbourne Summer Series and Australian Open promote the reinvigoration of the state following the challenges faced due to both bushfires and the pandemic.
Each tournament from 31 January will honour Gippsland, the Yarra Valley, Great Ocean Road and the Murray River, with Phillip Island attached to the WTA event in week two of the AO.
World No.1-ranked Barty will make her first competitive appearance in 11 months, after opting not to travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last summer, the 24-year-old won the inaugural Adelaide International title and became the first local woman to reach an Australian Open semifinal since Wendy Turnbull in 1984.
The Queenslander will face fierce competition from a quality field in her eagerly-awaited return, with 49 of the world’s top 50 players committed to compete. This includes 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams (USA), world No.2 Simona Halep (ROU), defending Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin (USA) and past AO champions Naomi Osaka (JPN), Victoria Azarenka (BLR) and Angelique Kerber (GER).
Each WTA event will feature a 56-player singles draw, with the top-32 ranked players to be split across the two events, and remaining players randomly drawn.
On the men’s side, the fields have already been divided for the two ATP 250 events.
World No.16 David Goffin (BEL) and world No.20 Karen Khachanov (RUS) headline the Great Ocean Road Open, with former top-10 players Kevin Anderson (RSA) and John Isner (USA) also competing alongside Australia’s Jordan Thompson.
Nick Kyrgios is set to light up Melbourne Park in the Murray River Open, joining former AO champion Stan Wawrinka (SUI) and world No.19 Grigor Dimitrov (BUL). Exciting young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) and Grand Slam champion Marin Cilic (CRO) have also entered.
“Having 49 of the world’s top 50 women, and an outstanding men’s field commit for the Melbourne Summer Series is a huge bonus for fans and promises quality matches for players leading into the Australian Open,” said Tennis Australia Head of Major Events Cam Pearson.
“There’s no doubt this will be an historic week of tennis, and is the biggest-ever AO lead-in week we have seen in Australia. It’s an exciting prospect for fans both on site and watching around the world.
“While we know the circumstances are unique this year, it is a huge coup to secure such strong playing fields. I hope fans, whether onsite or watching at home, will embrace what will be a high quality week of events.”
To ensure the safety of all patrons on site, the Melbourne Park precinct will be split into three zones with a corresponding ticket. Further details about tickets will be released soon.
The ATP Cup will be played alongside the Melbourne Summer Series at Melbourne Park.
WTA 500s – Gippsland Trophy and Yarra Valley Classic
ATP 250s – Great Ocean Road Open and Murray River Open