ADELAIDE, Australia, Feb 2 – Adelaide will host the world’s top tennis stars from next year at a new joint ATP-WTA tournament set to be played ahead of the Australian Open Grand Slam, it was announced Saturday.
The event will take place at a revamped Memorial Drive, which has been given an Aus$10 million (US$7.3 million) cash injection to put a woven fibreglass membrane fabric roof on the centre court.
Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said it was part of his vision for the future of the Australian tennis summer.
Sydney and Brisbane have already been announced as hosts of the new innovative 24-nation ATP World Team Cup, which will be played from January 3 over 10 days in the lead-up to the season-opening Grand Slam at Melbourne Park.
A third host city for that event, widely tipped as Perth, is yet to be announced.
“It’s important for us to continually improve on the great tennis offering we have in Australia to ensure there are more opportunities for players, more opportunities for fans to get to see them in their hometowns,” said Tiley.
“A major part of that vision is delivering more world-class tennis to capital cities around Australia which is what this (Adelaide) tournament will help do.
“It is a vital piece in our vision to ultimately grow tennis and provide inspiration for future generations.”
No dates for the week-long Adelaide tournament were announced, but the Adelaide Advertiser said it will effectively replace the Sydney International in January.
Tiley said he expected it to attract more than 120 of the world’s top singles and doubles players with a minimum of Aus$2 million (US$1.4 million) in prizemoney.