Australia, 21 December 2023 | Leigh Rogers

Australia’s top-ranked players are looking forward to enjoying time with their loved ones this festive season.

After a gruelling preseason, Rinky Hijikata will reunite with his family in Sydney.

The 22-year-old, who skyrocketed to career-high rankings of No.70 in singles and No.23 in doubles during a stellar 2023 season, has spent the past few weeks training in Brisbane with his coach Mark Draper.

“I’m going to fly back to Sydney a few days before Chrissy and then go back up to Brisbane (for the Brisbane International),” Hijikata said.

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World No.1 Storm Hunter is spending Christmas with her family in Perth.

“I’m super excited to go home. I haven’t seen my parents or any of my family all year, so it will be nice to go home and celebrate with them,” Hunter said.

Hunter is also set to begin the 2024 season in Perth, representing Australia at the United Cup.

It means Hunter will spend more than two weeks in Western Australia’s capital, marking her longest visit home in more than a decade.

“I haven’t spent more than five days there since I was 16 or 17,” she related. “I’m 29 now, so that’s at least 12 years.

“My family haven’t seen me play for a long time, so for them to be able to come and watch me play at the United Cup will be really special.”

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Aussie couple Daria and Luke Saville plan to spend Christmas at their Melbourne home.

“Normally we go back to South Australia (to see Luke’s family), but we’ve already gone back recently,” Daria said.

“So it’s going to be a really quiet Christmas actually.”

Asked if the couple planned to spoil their social-media famous dachshund Tofu, Daria’s answer was not surprising.

“He gets spoilt everyday, so probably,” she laughed.

Heath Davidson, Australia’s top-ranked quad wheelchair player, will celebrate Christmas in Queensland.

“I’m actually going up to see my best mate in Noosa and spending Christmas up there,” said the Melburnian.

“I’ll have a couple of days off and then get straight back into training after Boxing Day.”

The Melbourne-based Sam Stosur is also Queensland bound with her family.

But after ending her professional playing career earlier this season, Christmas celebrations are set to feel a little different for the eight-time Grand Slam champion.

“It’s the first time I can relax and properly enjoy Christmas in a long time, which will be nice,” Stosur said.

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