British star Andy Murray has announced he will start his 2023 season in South Australia as he lines up for his first ever Adelaide International and Novak Djokovic is expected to join him. Murray is set to start his Australian Open preparations early on New Year’s Day in the week-long tournament.
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The veteran Scotsman has entered along with Italian young gun Jannik Sinner, who is ranked world No.15, with play in World No.15 Jannik Sinner will join the Scotsman in a strong line-up as a warm-up event for the Australian Open in Melbourne.
In other big news, Djokovic has opted to skip the inaugural United Cup and is expected to enter the Adelaide International. Adelaide will host back-to-back combined WTA 500 and ATP 250 tournaments, with the second editions from January 9-14.
Two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka will headline the women’s field for both tournaments, with dual Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova to join the line-up in the second week. Former world No.1 Murray, a five-time finalist at Melbourne Park, said he was looking forward to a change in his Open build-up.
“Playing at the Adelaide International for the first time is something I’m looking forward to,” 35-year-old Murray said in a statement. “The crowds in Australia love their tennis and they’ve always been very supportive.
“I’ve been working hard in the off season and the Adelaide International will be great preparation for the Australian Open.”
Novak Djokovic set for Australian return
In big news for tennis fans, Novak Djokovic will be allowed back into the country in January after being granted a visa by the Australian government. However, Djokovic opted not to enter in the United Cup with Serbia and has left his schedule free.
Serbia missed out on qualifying for the mixed gender team event to take place from December 29 to January 8. On Tuesday, officials confirmed the final two countries to take part in the inaugural event will be Bulgaria and Kazakhstan.
According to reports, Djokovic didn’t nominate himself to play in the event, meaning Serbia won’t be a part of the $23 million tournament. Instead, Djokovic is believed to be eyeing off the Adelaide International.
Djokovic finished the year in sensational form having won his seventh ATP Finals in Turin.
He will also be favourite to lift his 10th Australian Open title, which he was unable to defend due to visa issues at the beginning of 2022.
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