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Highlights of the Lead Up to the 2018 Australian Open

5 months ago 242 Views

The countdown to the 2018 Australian Open is on. Closing fast, the lead up packs in a whole lot of tennis into 2 weeks and features the world’s best tennis players as they look to find form before the main event. Here are the highlights:

Hopman Cup, Perth Arena, Dec 30-Jan 6

The Hopman Cup is one of the most unique tennis events and provides some of the most entertaining tennis all year. Many big names make their way to Perth each year attracted by the promise of at least 3 matches to get their games into gear. Last year's Aus Open champion Roger Federer returns to the Hopman Cup and is joined by Alexander Zverev, Angelique Kerber, and Eugenie Bourchard. Local young talents Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis should put in a strong showing for team Australia.

Brisbane International, Queensland Tennis Centre, Dec 31-Jan 7

The Brisbane International has grown into an incredibly strong tournament and arguably the best ATP 250 event on the calendar. This year is no different with big names galore including Nadal, Murray, Muguruza, Kvitova as well as a strong Aussie contingent fighting to make their presence known.

Sydney International, Olympic Park, Jan 7-13

The Sydney International is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world and has a rich history of tennis greats lifting the trophy. While Venus is in her last years on the tour, she’s not quite done yet and had an excellent year in 2017. She’ll try to hold off a host of young guns including Australian Ash Barty. On the men’s side Kei Nishikori will try to find the kind of form that lifted him to top 5 in the world after ending his 2017 season early due to injury. Big serving lefty and last year’s champion, Gilles Muller will be his biggest threat.

FAST4 Showdown Australia v World, Sydney Olympic Park, Jan 8

One of a host of innovative exhibition events during the lead up to the Aus Open, FAST4 showcases some of the world’s top talents in a high-octane scoring format designed to speed up time between points. Held this year in Sydney and featuring Rafael Nadal, Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov, and Alexander Zverev which should make for some explosive matches.

World Tennis Challenge, Memorial Drive Tennis Centre, Adelaide, Jan 8-10

Mixing the old with the new in a fun and relaxed environment, the World Tennis Challenge is the perfect event to take the whole family to. Mega server Mark Philippoussis will attempt to get past all-time best returner Andre Agassi, while current Aussie talents Thanasi Kokkinakis and John Peers will showcase the latest generation of Australian tennis.

Tie Break Tens, Melbourne Park, Jan 10

Even more fast paced than the Fast4 Showdown Tie Break Tens features first to 10 point tiebreakers and Novak Djokovic, Lleyton Hewitt, Nick Kyrgios, and Stan Wawrinka packed into 1 night of entertainment in Melbourne.

Kooyong Classic, Melbourne, Jan 9-12

The Kooyong Classic is a more historic and classy affair compared to the other exhibition tournaments on this list. Relax by the side of the main court in the elegant surroundings of Kooyong’s famous lawn courts while drinking a glass of champagne and some of the best tennis on offer. This year will feature Dominic Thiem, David Goffin, Marin Cilic, Belinda Bencic, and Destanee Aiava (Aus)

Australian Open, Melbourne Park, Jan 15-28

And then of course it’s the main event. One of the biggest and best tennis tournaments in the world, each year getting bigger and better. Click here to read our round up of the top stories to follow during this year’s Australian Open. Or find Australian Open tickets here.