Australian Open contenders get set for Grand Slam

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Australian Open Tennis News

Thirty-two of the nation’s top tennis players will compete for entry into the first Grand Slam of the year when the annual Australian Open 2016 Play-off takes over Melbourne Park this month.

Former world No.39 Marinko Matosevic (Vic) will headline the elite men’s field alongside current world No.120 James Duckworth (NSW), Australian Open 2012 boys’ champion Luke Saville (SA) and 2014 US Open boys’ champion Omar Jasika (Vic).

Defending men’s champion Jordan Thompson (NSW) will return in pursuit of a third successive title, the 21-year-old having secured back-to-back wins – and Grand Slam wildcards – in 2013 and 2014. Ben Mitchell (Qld), winner of the Play-off in 2012, will also contest this month’s event.

The women’s draw will be headed by Olivia Rogowska (Vic) and Storm Sanders (WA), as well as rising stars Priscilla Hon (Qld), Kimberly Birrell (Qld), Sara Tomic (Qld), Naiktha Bains (Qld), Destanee Aiava (Vic) and Maddison Inglis (Qld).

In 2014 Victorian Daria Gavrilova won the women’s Play-off, granting her entry to Australian Open 2015 and launching her best ever season on tour. In the past 12 months the 21-year-old has climbed 197 places in the rankings to now sit at world No.36, earning her direct entry into her home Grand Slam.

The Australian Open 2016 Play-off is the feature event of the annual December Showdown, which sees the nation’s best junior tennis players compete for national titles in 12-, 14-, 16- and 18-year age groups.

The winner of the 18-and-under boys’ event will be granted entry to the men’s Play-off, while the winner of the 18-and-under girls’ event will be handsomely rewarded with a wildcard entry directly into the main draw of Australian Open 2016. The 18-and-under girls’ runner-up will receive a berth in the women’s Play-off.

Tournament Director Francis Soyer said the Australian Open 2016 Play-off would launch a blockbuster summer of tennis.

“It’s really exciting to have such a strong field travelling to Melbourne to contest the Play-off, the springboard to the first Grand Slam of the year,” Soyer said.

“The event is a great opportunity for some of the nation’s best players to guarantee their entry into the Australian Open and really set up their 2016 seasons, so we expect the competition to be pretty fierce all week.”

The official tournament draw will be held at Melbourne Park on Sunday 13 December, with all the on-court action under way from December 14–20.

The current field for the Australian Open 2016 Play-off is:

Men – Includes world ranking
1. James Duckworth (NSW) – No.120
2. Jordan Thompson (NSW) – No.154
3. Luke Saville (SA) – No.187
4. Ben Mitchell (Qld) – No.207
5. Alex Bolt (SA) – No.266
6. Gavin Van Peperzeel (Qld) – No.285
7. Marinko Matosevic (Vic) – No.296
8. Matt Barton (NSW) – No.297
9. Omar Jasika (Vic) – No.308
10. Matt Reid (NSW) – No.313
11. Maverick Banes (Qld) – No.432
12. Harry Bourchier (Tas) – No.503
13. Brad Mousley (SA) – No.558
14. Winner – 18-and-under national championships
* Two additional players TBC

Women – Includes world ranking
1. Olivia Rogowska (Vic) – No.276
2. Jessica Moore (WA) – No.309
3. Alison Bai (ACT) – No.318
4. Priscilla Hon (Qld) – No.332
5. Kimberly Birrell (Qld) – No.366
6. Storm Sanders (WA) – No.376
7. Sara Tomic (Qld) – No.454
8. Alexandra Nancarrow (ACT) – No.476
9. Olivia Tjandramulia (Qld) – No.485
10. Zoe Hives (Vic) – No.502
11. Naiktha Bains (Qld) – No.611
12. Destanee Aiava (Vic) – No.671
13. Maddison Inglis – No.781
14. Runner-up – 18-and-under national championships
* Two additional players TBC

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.