Canberra tennis fans will finally see some of the world’s top players in action when the P² Advisory Canberra International returns in January 2023.
Following a three-year hiatus due to bushfires and COVID-19, the premier event will host some of the best men’s and women’s players competing for a prize pool of more than $280,000.
Tournament director Kim Kachel is looking forward to a big summer of action at the Canberra Tennis Centre from 1 to 7 January.
“We’re excited to welcome the event back to Canberra after three years. There’s a real buzz out there in the tennis community,” he said.
“The tournament is a fantastic opportunity for Canberrans and fans from around the region to see world-class tennis on their doorstep.”
Mr Kachel is expecting some big-name national and international players to use the event as a stepping stone to our national title.
“It’s a real launch pad event for the Australian Open,” he said.
“This year’s P² Advisory Canberra International will be held alongside the new United Cup games in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane at the same time. All the best players will be spread across the events creating a thrilling start to the summer of tennis.”
Upgrades to the Canberra Tennis Centre, including a new northern grandstand and more shade areas, have been completed ahead of the event. And this year it won’t be just elite tennis players keeping fans entertained.
“We’ve added some more activities and we’ll have some night sessions for the first time ever, with DJs and food trucks,” Mr Kachel said.
“People can come and watch the tennis after work. It’s a brilliant opportunity for families to enjoy a night out – and hopefully encourage young players to pick up a tennis racquet.”
Some of the big matches have been scheduled for the Monday, Tuesday and Friday evening sessions under lights from 6 pm.
The men will take to the court in the ATP Challenger 100 event, the highest Challenger event in the country. The women will compete in the ITF 60 event, which will attract a host of the world’s next rising tennis stars.
With entries still rolling in, Mr Kachel expects to announce the line-up of elite players in mid-December.
“We’re hopeful of attracting some really strong talent and players in the top 50 to 150,” he said. “The women’s event is one of the strongest at that level and I expect we’ll see a lot of top 200 players.”
The men’s tournament has previously attracted world number 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas from Greece, Italy’s Jannik Sinner (ranked number 15), and the 2018 winner Hubert Hurkacz of Poland who is now number 10 in the world.
The young Aussie contingent is always strong. The event has seen three-time Grand Slam champion and former world number 1 Ash Barty compete in multiple events over the years at the Canberra Tennis Centre.
Up-and-coming Canberra player and member of the Australian Junior Davis Cup team, 16-year-old Charlie Camus could also score himself a wild card into the tournament.
“We have a lot of emerging talent in the ACT and it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for national selectors to give Charlie a wild card,” Mr Kachel said.
The Canberra Tennis Centre gives fans a chance to get up close to the players compared to some of the larger facilities.
“People can’t believe just how close they are to the action,” Mr Kachel said. “To see the speed of players, their movement, their precision up close is like nothing else.
“The event attracts tennis fans from all over Canberra and surrounding regions up to three hours away.”
Canberra’s multicultural community and ambassadors from around the world are expected to turn out to wave flags and cheer on their players.
Mr Kachel says the event will offer an opportunity for about 80 local ball girls and boys and 35 volunteers to rub shoulders with the best. It’ll also be a shot in the arm for Canberra’s economy, with players, officials and support teams contributing to more than 600 room nights.
More than 15,000 fans are expected through the gates during the tournament, with children under 14 admitted free with an adult (excluding the finals).
Tickets for the P² Advisory Canberra International are on sale now.