Scottish great Andy Murray is the latest signing for the 2023 Care A2+ Kooyong Classic in what is another significant coup for the boutique tournament beginning next Tuesday.
The dual-Wimbledon champion is an icon of the sport and his presence at the traditional home of tennis in Australia adds further lustre to what is an outstanding field.
Murray, who also has a US Open title to his name, is a deserved member of the Big Four in tennis featuring Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.
Although the ultimate glory has eluded Murray at the Australian Open, the 35-year-old has performed magnificently on the hard courts of Melbourne Park throughout his career.
The former world No.1 has reached the Australian Open final on five occasions and it has taken the legends to deny him the title; Federer proved too good in 2010, while he and Djokovic played some memorable deciders in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.
Murray, who plays with tremendous court craft and possesses the deftest of touch, visited Kooyong back in 2014 for an exhibition match against Australian champion Lleyton Hewitt.
Care A2+ Kooyong Classic tournament director Peter Johnston said the signing of Murray, is a bonus and adds to the event’s reputation for delivering quality.
“He is as hungry as he ever has been to win slams, and the Care A2+ Kooyong Classic is, to my view, an ideal spot for him to finalise his preparations for the Australian Open,” Johnston said.
“He needs to pace himself to be absolutely ripe for that major, so the two matches at Kooyong, where he is playing some of the world’s best players, seems perfect for him.
“We have seen over the past 12 months, as he has rebuilt his ranking after undergoing major hip surgery, that he retains all the fight and passion that has made him a great.”
The addition of Murray, who has overcome a career-threatening hip injury to return to the top 50, means the Care A2+ Kooyong Classic will feature two men who have been ranked No. 1.
Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, the current No. 1 and reigning US Open champion, will play his only matches in Australia at Kooyong prior to the year’s first grand slam.
Australian star Alex de Minaur, who led his nation to the final of the Davis Cup in November, has also identified Kooyong as the ideal spot to finalise his preparations for Melbourne Park.
Taylor Fritz, who is America’s top-ranked man at No.9, former US Open champion Marin Cilic and three-time grand slam semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov are among the competitors.
Jannik Sinner, who is considered a future major champion and is coached by Australian Darren Cahill, played in the best match of 2022 against Alcaraz in a US Open quarterfinal.
He will also feature in the Care A2+ Kooyong Classic alongside Borna Coric, who claimed the prestigious Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in August, and popular American Frances Tiafoe, who reached the semi-finals of the US Open in September.
Johnston said he is not surprised by the remarkable calibre of the players who are playing in the boutique event given the opportunities it provides them.
Being able to play matches against elite rivals in conditions that mirror those they will compete in at Melbourne Park makes the tournament an ideal step in their preparation.
“These guys are choosing to play in the Care A2+ Kooyong Classic for good reason,” he said.
“All of them consider themselves potential grand slam winners and want to go as far as they can at the Australian Open and playing at Kooyong can help them achieve that goal.”
In a further win for fans attending the Care A2+ Kooyong Classic, the tournament will also feature a women’s field, with a couple of big-name signings to be announced this week.
The 2023 Care A2+ Kooyong Classic will be the first held at the revamped Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club after a recently completed $18 million redevelopment.
This has returned the historically important stadium to its 1930s form. There have also been major upgrades to the clubhouse and around the Kooyong club site.
Tickets are available for purchase through Ticketek and www.kooyongclassic.com.au.
WHEN: Tuesday, January 10, to Thursday, January 12, 2023.
WHERE: Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club, 489 Glenferrie Rd, Kooyong VIC 3144.
TICKETS: Tickets on sale now through Ticketek and at www.kooyongclassic.com.au. Corporate Box packages can be purchased by contacting the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club: email@example.com.
BROADCAST: The 2023 Care A2+ Kooyong Classic will be broadcast live nationally and streamed online on SBS between 11am and 5pm on each day of the event and distributed internationally through Media Pro Asia.
MEDIA: Please note that accreditation is essential for all media wishing to cover this event and applications have now closed.