MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Sydney will host the $10 million ATP Cup from Jan. 1-9 as part of a bumper schedule of warm-up tournaments ahead of the Australian Open, organisers said on Thursday.
Governing body Tennis Australia (TA) also confirmed Melbourne would host Australian Open qualifying from Jan. 10-14 after 2021 qualifying was played abroad due to COVID-19.
TA boss Craig Tiley said a record 17 tournaments would be staged in Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia states in the lead up to the Jan. 17-30 Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the year.
"It’s incredibly important to have the world’s best players competing across the country, inspiring the next generation of players, and growing interest and excitement in our sport,” Tiley said in a statement.
After the ATP Cup, Australia's largest city will host the one-off "Sydney Tennis Classic", featuring a WTA 500 event and an ATP 250 tournament.
Adelaide will host four men's and women's tournaments back-to-back from Jan. 2-15 while Melbourne Park, the Australian Open venue, will stage another three tournaments from Jan. 3-9.
Russia cruised to victory in February in the last truncated edition of the ATP Cup, which was played in front of small, capped crowds at Melbourne Park due to COVID-19 restrictions.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)