Brand-new Memorial Drive Tennis Centre will host some of the world's finest players next week, with many ATP and WTA stars heading to Adelaide for the last rehearsal ahead of Melbourne. The organizers did a fantastic job, signing world no.
2 Novak Djokovic who rarely enters the tournaments in the week ahead of the Major, with the Serb making a potential return to the event where he claimed his third ATP title back in 2007 before it moved to Brisbane two years later.
Still, as was expected, Novak has decided to skip Adelaide after reaching the semi-final at the ATP Cup, playing enough matches in Brisbane and Sydney and opting to skip the next week and train in Melbourne instead. Scoring victories over Kevin Anderson, Gael Monfils and Cristian Garin, Novak led Serbia into the semi-final of the inaugural ATP Cup together with Dusan Lajovic, facing Daniil Medvedev for the place in the final.
The Serb claimed the title in Eastbourne back in 2017 in the week before Wimbledon but in different circumstances, struggling with an elbow injury and skipping the rest of the season after he retired against Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final at the All England Club.
Novak is among the favorites in Melbourne, seeking the eighth Australian Open crown and to defend 2000 points he claimed a year ago after beating Rafael Nadal in the final. Alex de Minaur, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz should fight for the title in Adelaide now and the spectators will have the opportunity to watch more home players in action, with Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson who earned the main draw wild cards.
"We know how disappointed Novak Djokovic is about not being able to play in Adelaide this year and we hope to welcome him to the tournament next year," Adelaide International tournament director Alistair MacDonald said.
"We understand his decision and wish him the very best of luck for the remainder of the ATP Cup and the upcoming Australian Open."