Tennis Australia confirmed a record of 17 events to be featured during the Australian Summer of Tennis, ahead of the first major of the 2022 season.
In the lead-up to the first Grand Slam of a new year, the Australian Open, Tennis Australia, the country’s governing body of tennis, announced its tournament schedule for the Summer of Tennis.
The calendar focuses the events across three states, New South Wales (NSW), Victoria, and South Australia.
On January 1st, the action sets off in Sydney, where the third edition of the ATP Cup will take place, encompassing two weeks of top tennis.
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said: “The ATP Cup, combined with the four ATP 250 tournaments in the lead up to the Australian Open, will provide a fantastic start to the 2022 ATP Tour season. There is no better place to kick off the season than in Australia, and we look forward to seeing the fans out in force in January.
In fact, the first of four ATP 250 venues, Adelaide International 1, which also comprises a WTA 500 tournament, will be contested from January 2-9.
Major cities like Adelaide and Melbourne will serve as home for games, as two regional cities, Bendigo and Traralgon.
From January 3-9, Melbourne Park will feature the Melbourne Summer Events, consisting of two WTA 250 venues and an ATP 250.
Following the ATP Cup grand finale, the Sydney Tennis Classic, a combined men’s (ATP 250) and women’s (WTA 500) tournament, spanning from January 3-15, will be making its debut.
Simultaneously in Adelaide, the competition will also be ongoing with the celebration of International 2, to be staged at the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre.
WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon commented: “I would like to recognize and express our appreciation for the significant efforts of Tennis Australia in providing several WTA competition opportunities across various parts of Australia in 2022 as part of the summer of tennis. Holding these WTA events maximizes key playing opportunities as we kick off the 2022 season.”
On January 10th, Qualifying for the Australian Open will get underway, marking its return to Melbourne - last year, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, qualifying was held outside the country in the Middle East.
Men’s qualifying rounds happened at Khalifa International Tennis in Doha, Qatar, while women players competed at the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in Dubai.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley stressed: “It’s incredibly important to have the world’s best players competing across the country, inspiring the next generation of players and growing interest and excitement in our sport.”
Adding: “It’s also vital to provide competition opportunities for the playing group, and with an incredible 17 tournaments, we are pleased to announce we will have a record number of jobs for players here in Australia in January.”
“It is not news to anyone that the pandemic, closed borders, and varying rates of vaccination created a massive challenge for us and led to the changes specifically for the summer. It’s why we waited as long as possible to secure optimal conditions for the players and fans in as many locations as we could,” Tiley remarked.
Last week, the Australian Open Director confirmed the need for all players to be fully vaccinated to participate in the competition.
Regarding the speculations around Novak Djokovic’s position on vaccination, Tiley outlined: “He has noted that and said publicly, it is a private matter for him, but we would love to see Novak here.
“He knows he has to be vaccinated in order to play. He’s won the Australian Open nine times. I think he’d love to make it a double-digit win of ten times.”
Furthermore, the calendar features wheelchair events, the Victorian Wheelchair Open and Melbourne Wheelchair Open, both set for the Hume Tennis Centre.
And from 23-27 January, the Australian Open Wheelchair Championships will run at Melbourne Park, with paralympic gold medallist Dylan Alcott playing his final tournament on home soil, having announced he will retire from tennis right after.
WHAT’S NEW FOR 2022?
Next January, AO will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the women’s championships in style, with both semifinal matches moving to the night session on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the men’s semifinals will take place Friday in a day and a night session instead of being split across two nights.
In addition, U.S. Open champion, Emma Raducanu, will be featured at the Australian Open main draw for the first time next year.
The first Grand Slam of the new season will run in Melbourne from 17-31 January 2022.