By Alessandro Mastroluca

  • Dan Evans will feature in the new combined event in Adelaide
  • Cameron Norrie and Kyle Edmund will prepare the Australian Open in Auckland
  • Jay Clarke will try to qualify for the Australian Open, alongside Harriet Dart, Naiktha Bains and Samantha Murray
LONDON, UK – Dan Evans will play in the new combined tournament in Adelaide, British interest in Auckland sees Cameron Norrie and Kyle Edmund flying the flag, with Brits in Australian Open qualifying.

 

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Dan Evans will continue his season after the stunning performance in the ATP Cup at the brand-new Adelaide International, the combined event scheduled before the Australian Open. Kyle Edmund, on paper the top qualifying seed there, entered in the main draw at Auckland as Daniil Medvedev withdrew from the tournament. Cameron Norrie will travel to New Zealand too after a see-saw ATP Cup campaign.

 

Evans could meet De Minaur in Adelaide

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The unorthodox Brit, who beat Alex De Minaur after an epic battle in Sydney in the quarter-finals of the ATP Cup, could meet again the Australian No.1 next week. The World No.18 is the top seed in Adelaide and the tournament will also feature Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev and Taylor Fritz.

Ashleigh Barty, the WTA number 1, will compete in the women’s singles event alongside Simona Halep and Petra Kvitova, among others. One person missing will be Britain’s Johanna Konta, who withdrew from Adelaide as a ‘precautionary measure’ having managed a niggling knee injury all last year, and suffering an opening exit in Brisbane.

READ MORE | Rusty Konta bounced once more by nemesis Strycova

 

Norrie will feature in Auckland

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Norrie, instead, chose to complete his preparation towards the Australian Open in Auckland. The British left-hander was directly admitted in the main draw at the 2020 ASB Classic, the biggest men’s professional sporting event in New Zealand, held since 1956. The tournament was played on outdoor grass courts from until 1977, switching to hard courts in 1978, and remained a combined event until 1981.

The Russian Medvedev, the top-ranked player in the entry list, opted to withdraw from the tournament. So, Fabio Fognini, Denis Shapovalov, and Karen Khachanov, who reached the quarter-finals in his most recent appearance, are meant to be the top-seeds. American John Isner, a two-time champion in Auckland, will come back trying to move on from a lacklustre week in the ATP Cup. The surprising Hubert Hurkacz, projected to be seeded at the Australian Open as he went 3-0 for Poland, Borna Coric, and Diego Schwartzman will look to maintain their perfect start of the season.

 

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Hobart International: Muguruza got a wild card

The former WTA World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza will take a wild card into the Hobart International, where she won her maiden tour-level title as a qualifier six years ago. The Belgian Elise Mertens, the first player to win the title more than once in the tournament’s history, and the rising star Elena Rybakina will lead the main draw of the established pre-Australian Open event, held since 1994.

It won’t be the only relevant comeback this year. The former doubles World No.1, Sania Mirza, will make her return to action partnering Nadia Kichenok. The Indian star hasn’t played after giving birth to her son in October 2018.

Australian Open qualifying

Jay Clarke, the World No.154, is the only British man in the draw of the Australian Open qualifying rounds. Liam Broady is the highest-ranked alternate at the moment. In the women’s singles qualifying, Samantha Murray, Harriet Dart, and Naiktha Bains will try to gain a berth in the first major of the season.

 

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