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Adelaide confirmed as AO warm-up event in January

Although the WTA and ATP have yet to release details of their respective tour schedules for the 2022 season, reports indicate that the Australian leg is coming together with the announcement that Adelaide will host 2 tournaments, including the Adelaide International, in the lead-up to the Australian Open in January.

The Australian Open will be back in all its glory in January and provide a massive boost to the city, the state and the country as it plays a major role in helping Melbourne roar back to life. We can’t wait to welcome back the world’s best players. They love competing here in Melbourne, experiencing the warmth and enthusiasm of the fans, enjoying our beautiful city and player facilities unlike anywhere else in the world. Craig Tiley, Australian Open Tournament Director

South Australia state Premier Steven Marshall made the announcement on Monday.

The Adelaide International, which is one of the warm-up events to the year’s first Grand Slam, was held at Melbourne Park this year for players coming out of quarantine.

In 2022 it will revert to its home at the newly redeveloped Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, with the first event hosted from 2 to 9 January and featuring a WTA 500 and ATP 250 combined tournament, followed by the second Adelaide International event, a WTA 250 and ATP 250 tournament from 9 to 15 January.

“Our investment of $44 million for Stage Two of the Memorial Drive redevelopment is creating a world-class venue capable of hosting not just tennis but a range of sporting and entertainment events into the future,” Premier Marshall said.

“South Australia has done so incredibly well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s our willingness to listen to the health advice that means we’re able to hold events like this one in January.

“Tennis events over the next decade are going to generate even more jobs for South Australians and attract thousands of people to our great state, which in turn will boost our economy.”

All the warm-ups for this year’s Australian Open were held at Melbourne Park after players emerged from a fortnight in quarantine, but the build-up to 2022’s season-opening Grand Slam will look ‘as close to pre-pandemic conditions’ as possible, according to Tennis Australia.

Sources at the ATP said there will be 4 warm-up events in Australia ahead of the major in addition to the $10 million ATP Cup men’s team tournament, which will be held in Sydney.

Sydney hosted the knockout rounds of the event in its inaugural year in 2020 after group matches were also held in Brisbane and Perth.

Some state borders that were closed to stop the spread of COVID-19 are opening up as vaccination rates rise, but Western Australia and Queensland have retained restrictions on entry, making it unlikely that Perth and Brisbane will host any warm-up matches in January.

Tennis Australia added that the full schedule of events running up to the Australian Open will be unveiled in the next few days.

2021 AO champion Novak Djokovic speaks with CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley as he holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup following victory in his Men’s Singles Final match against Daniil Medvedev.

© Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Meanwhile TA has stated that, after playing behind closed doors in 2021, bumper crowds are expected to flock to Melbourne Park in January, where they will be treated to a full Grand Slam program that includes 2 weeks of lead-in tournaments, the return of qualifying and the AO Junior Championships.

The brand new 5,000-seat stadium and a stunning new dining precinct, along with media facilities and broadcast studios will be unveiled, revealing the final stage of the 10-year redevelopment of Melbourne Park, which continues to lead the way in global Grand Slam facilities.

“The Australian Open will be back in all its glory in January and provide a massive boost to the city, the state and the country as it plays a major role in helping Melbourne roar back to life,” said Tournament Director Craig Tiley at the official launch over the weekend. “We can’t wait to welcome back the world’s best players.

“They love competing here in Melbourne, experiencing the warmth and enthusiasm of the fans, enjoying our beautiful city and player facilities unlike anywhere else in the world.”

In 2022, the Australian Open celebrates 100 years of women’s competition at the highest level of the sport and the women’s semi-final will move to prime time, with both matches to be played in the night session on Thursday 27 January, in a major shift to the schedule.

This also means the men’s semi-finals will now be played on the Friday in a day and a night session, instead of being split across two nights.

There will be more exciting activations for fans than ever before, with the introduction of the spectacular new AO Beach House, designed to bring the laid-back holiday vibes to life within a stunning new precinct.

Beach Tennis, Piper Heidsieck Cabanas, Grainshaker Australian Vodka Bar, gourmet fish and chips from Pipi’s Kiosk, and a range of health and wellness activities, offer something for everyone and will attract both the early birds and the night owls.

Grand Slam Oval is back bigger than ever showcasing 10 of the most celebrated CBD restaurants serving up signature dishes from an eclectic mix of cuisines.

“We can’t wait to welcome back the world’s best players, and our fans in big numbers, with all the fun and excitement of live sport in summer in Melbourne,” adds Tiley.

Players vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able play at the Australian Open without undergoing any quarantine but Tiley confirmed on Saturday that those who are not jabbed would not be allowed into Melbourne Park.

Australian Open 2022, supported by major partner Kia Motors in association with Emirates, Luzhou Laojiao and Rolex, will take place at Melbourne Park from 17-30 January, 2022.

Naomi Osaka poses with Craig Tiley after winning the 2021 Australian Open Women's Final

© Graham Denholm/Getty Images



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