The world’s top tennis players are set to play in South Australia (SA) ahead of the Australian Open. World number one Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams will be among a host of the sport’s stars who will quarantine in Adelaide before playing in an exhibition tournament on January 29, which will be the official curtain raiser to the Australian summer of tennis in 2021.
The one-off event will be held in Adelaide, capital city of the state of SA, and will feature a total of eight players, including the top three ranked men’s and women’s players Dominic Thiem, Simona Halep and Naomi Osaka, with further player announcements to be made in due course, Xinhua news reports.
Tennis Australia, the governing body for the sport, said in a statement on Saturday that the group of international players will arrive in Adelaide from January 14 and undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
The event will feature two sessions with reduced venue capacity in line with state government requirements to ensure the safety of all patrons.
Steven Marshall, the Premier of SA, said that securing the tournament was a “real coup” for the state.
“This is a real show of support for the way that South Australia has managed the COVID-19 pandemic and underlines our ability to attract world-class events,” he said in a statement.
The 2021 Australian Open will be held from February 8-21 at Melbourne Park.
Following the Grand Slam event, Adelaide will also host the International WTA 500 event from February 22 to 27, featuring around 70 of the world’s best female players.