Novak Djokovic leads strong Adelaide field ahead of Australian Open

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Novak Djokovic leads strong Adelaide field ahead of Australian Open

A few days ago, the news popped up about Novak Djokovic's Adelaide commitment, with world no. 2 adding a surprising pre-Grand Slam ATP 250 event to his schedule. Novak claimed his third ATP title in Adelaide back in 2007, two years before the event moved to Brisbane where it stayed until 2019.

Now, the brand-new Memorial Drive Tennis Centre will host some of the world's finest players between January 12-18, with many ATP and WTA stars heading to Adelaide for the last preparation ahead of Melbourne. En route to the title, Djokovic will face Alex de Minaur, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Lucas Pouille, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz and we should expect some great matches from the very first round.

On the women's side of the draw, 11 top-20 players will compete for the crown in one of the strongest events outside the top-tier level, with Ashleigh Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Kiki Bertens, Johanna Konta, Sofia Kenin and Angelique Kerber all seeking the best possible momentum ahead of the Australian Open.

The American veteran Venus Williams has grabbed a wild card, ready to challenge the better-ranked rivals and cause some upsets. "The full list of players is a real who's who of tennis – from Australia's favorite Ash Barty to the iconic Venus Williams, right through to the young talent of Alex de Minaur and the experienced campaigner Novak Djokovic in the men's field," South Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, David Ridgway said.

"As former world number 1s and with 23 Grand Slam titles between them, Novak and Venus will be looking to start the summer off strongly, and I'm sure the Adelaide crowd will get behind them. It's great for both the tournament and fans that Novak and Venus have chosen to compete in Adelaide ahead of the Australian Open.

We're looking forward to seeing some tough matches here as they prepare for the season's first Grand Slam event. The new-look stadium will offer the players a great experience in a fantastic setting. They will be playing right alongside the river and a stone's throw from the city, so it is perfect for the fans who can walk over the footbridge and watch some of the best players in the world do battle, right at the critical point of their Grand Slam preparations.

The State Government is proud that the Adelaide International has attracted a stellar list of players including five former world No.1s and seven Grand Slam singles champions – now we wait for January and for a cracking summer of tennis."