Rafael Nadal will attempt to prove his fitness for the Australian Open by participating in a ‘Tie Break Tens’ tournament held on Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday 10 January.
Nadal was forced to withdraw from the Brisbane International and Fast4 event in Sydney due to continuing knee problems, and remains in doubt for the grand slam.
Tie Break Tens is a rapid-fire tournament of 10-point tie-break games usually played between eight women and eight men respectively. The event takes three and a half hours in total, with the winner taking $250,000 in prize-money.
The tournament was launched in 2015 in London and has been held in Vienna in 2016 and Madrid in 2017 (which included a women’s tournament for the first time).
This will be the first time the short-form tennis tournament has been held in Australia.
Alongside Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Nick Kyrgios and the returning Lleyton Hewitt will participate in the men’s draw, with the other male participants yet to be announced.
Tennis Australia have clarified that no women’s event will be held on this occasion, with many top players participating in Sydney and Hobart international events.
In a statement released by TA, Nadal said he was excited by the quality of the draw, and opportunity to participate in the novel tournament.
“Tie Break Tens is a great concept and we will see and play some exciting matches,” Nadal said.
“The field is fantastic and I expect some tough competition which will be great for the Aussie fans.”
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley also signalled his support for the tournament’s debut in Australia.
“These guys are all coming in at different stages of their preparation, but once their competitive instincts kick in – which will be almost instant in this format – there will be some absorbing contests,” he said.
“Remember, there is not much room for error. You lose the tie break and you are out.” Guardian,co.uk