The first event of the ATP Tour will be held at Melbourne Park for players who are not involved in the ATP Cup and provide them, as they emerge from 14 days quarantine with some competitive matches prior to the Australian Open.
The Murray River Open is one of two 250 events which will run from the Monday 1st February alongside the ATP Cup which starts a day later.
Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka, world ranked 18 leads a field which includes Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov ranked one place behind him and former US Open champion from Croatia, Marin Cilic who has slipped down to 43. In addition, the 20-year-old Canadian, Felix Auger-Aliassime who, at 21, is poised to break into the top levels of the world rankings.
Local tennis fans will also be able to follow Nick Kyrgios who will be looking to re-establish himself after spending a year off-court. The controversial Aussie who has dropped to 47 in the world as a consequence, has said he was keen to get back on court.
Frances Tiafoe, ranked 62, is one of four Americans in the draw alongside Tommy Paul, Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald.
The draw will be made on Saturday, January 30 at the same time that the draw for the Great Ocean Road Open is to be made- the second of the 250 men’s events to be played in Melbourne during that week.
Last year the tournament made its debut in Adelaide, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition has been switched to the home of the Australian Open.
Belgium’s David Goffin, ranked 14, and Russia’s Karen Khachanov, 20, will head the field in their chase for a fifth ttle.
They are also hoping to end trophy droughts in the process, with the Belgian last claiming silverware in 2017 and the Russian triumphing at the Rolex Paris Masters in 2018.
Also in action will be the fast rising Italian teenage star, the Italian Jannik Sinner and the Delray Beach champion from Hungary, Hubert Hurkacz as well as Tennys Sandgren alongside fellow Americans Reilly Opelka and Sam Querrey.