Novak Djokovic stretches for a backhand volley.

Australian Tennis Summer Swing Preview: Djokovic, Nadal, Gauff, Osaka Set to Compete

While most are still in the excited-for-the-holidays mood, the tennis world doesn’t that luxury. Instead, pro players are working hard on their pre-season preparations for January, when they’ll travel Down Under for the Australian summer swing.

The 2024 tennis calendar will get rolling in just two weeks before everyone meets in Melbourne in January for the first Grand Slam of the year, where Nick Kyrgios will be missing in action, but many other Aussies will carry the flag.

This Australian summer tennis preview will inspire you to get on the court for a tennis tournament and if you're in Australia, you'll need a free Competitive Player Profile. Your Competitive Player Profile is the unique profile generated by connecting your Tennis Australia Tennis ID and UTR Rating. With this connection, your playing history and upcoming match data will be stored securely, enabling access to advanced analytics.

United Cup: Dec. 29-Jan 7

The opening tournament of 2024 will be a unique team one featuring many tennis stars. The United Cup will take place in Sydney and Perth (the United Cup has replaced the ATP Cup and Hopman Cup). Eighteen co-ed teams will compete in the second-ever United Cup, with 9 teams playing in Perth on Dec. 29 and 9 playing in Sydney on Dec. 30. The semifinals and finals will take place in Sydney, giving this event a World Cup type of vibe.

Draws are further split up into groups of three teams, with each team fielding a six-player roster. Each tie consists of men’s singles, women’s singles, and mixed doubles. The prize? National pride and a share of $10 million in prize money.

Iga Swiatek hits a forehand.

Poland is looking particularly strong with WTA No. 1 Iga Swiatek (UTR Rating 13.30) and Hubert Hurkacz (15.91). Greece features two Top 10 stars in Stefanos Tsitsipas (15.84) and Maria Sakkari (12.63), as does the United States with Taylor Fritz (15.82) and Jessica Pegula (12.93). Novak Djokovic (16.36) will suit up for Serbia alongside Olga Danilovic (12.17) and ATP Next Gen champion Hamad Medjedovic (15.29). Australia has a solid chance to do well with the likes of Alex de Minaur (15.81) and Ajla Tomljanovic (11.98) leading the way. Angelique Kerber will make her comeback representing Germany alongside Alexander Zverev.

Brisbane & Auckland: Jan. 1-7

For those not playing in the United Cup, there’s an ATP 250/WTA 500 in Brisbane and two more women’s events, a WTA 125 in Canberra and a WTA 250 in Auckland.

Rafael Nadal pumps his fist on court in Melbourne.

The Aussie summer swing is going to be ripe with comebacks with the Brisbane International will be the site of some big tennis news. The men’s Brisbane event will be especially exciting for Rafael Nadal (16.24) fans as the Spaniard plans to play his first match since last year’s Australian Open. He’s joined in the draw by Grigor Dimitrov, Ben Shelton, and Andy Murray.

Last year’s WTA 500 Brisbane champion Belinda Bencic (12.52) is on the sidelines after announcing her pregnancy but new mom Naomi Osaka (12.27) will make her highly anticipated return where she’ll be joined by defending Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka (12.80) as well as Elena Rybakina (12.83), Karolina Muchova (12.79), and Victoria Azarenka (12.46).

Naomi Osaka will make her comeback to pro tennis in Australia.

Auckland will see some comebacks of its own with Emma Raducanu (12.35) and Amanda Anismova (11.91) both entered in the WTA 250 after receiving wild cards. Other notable players include moms Elina Svitolina (12.51) and Carolina Wozniacki (12.58). Defending champion Coco Gauff (12.97) is playing her sole warm-up event here.

Adelaide, Auckland, & Hobart: Jan. 8-13

During the second week of January, the men can get in their last matches before the Australian Open by playing an ATP 250 in Adelaide or an ATP 250 in Auckland. Adelaide is highlighted by Tommy Paul, Ugo Humbert, and Sebastian Korda, while Auckland features Shelton, Cameron Norrie, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and Arthur Fils.

The women can get their final kinks out at a WTA 500 in Adelaide or a WTA 250 at the Hobart International. The Adelaide International in New Zealand field features Grand Slam champions Rybakina, Marketa Vondrousova, and Barbora Krejcikova, with 13 of the WTA Top 20 listed.

Djokovic last played in the Davis Cup semifinals where Serbia lost to eventual champion Italy. He doesn’t have a warm-up event planned beyond the United Cup as he looks to defend his Australian Open crown inside Rod Laver Arena and extend his record to 25 majors.

Swiatek will be favored on the women’s side when the Australian Open kicks off on January 15, but reigning US Open champion Gauff is hot on her heels.

Notably, Carlos Alcaraz is not playing any events until the Australian Open.
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