Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Canberra, Australia
Re: Asia-Pacific Tennis League
It's on again this year. I read an article about it in a newspaper. Ash Barty, Casey Dellacqua and Nick Kyrgios amongst others are apparently going to play:
Net gain: chance to see future stars shine for free
Date November 3, 2013
The Asia-Pacific Tennis League is serving up top talent to the suburbs.
It's a chance to watch Australia's best young talent - and maybe even Pat Rafter - play at a suburban court near you.
The Asia-Pacific Tennis League begins on Wednesday, pitting young guns, veterans and former players against each other in preparation for the Australian Open. Now in it's third year, the tournament is played along state lines as they vie for a slice of the $110,000 prizemoney. Former world No.1 Rafter will play in some of the matches, which are free to the public and staged in suburban venues.
It will be a chance for fans to get a glimpse of rising stars including Davis Cup player Nick Kyrgios and former junior Wimbledon champion Ashleigh Barty, who are both likely to feature in next year's opening grand slam. Other players likely to be involved in the Australian Open wildcard play-off include Jordan Thompson, Luke Saville, James Duckworth and Thanasi Kokkinakis. This year's NSW squad will be led by Matt Barton, Matt Reid and Casey Dellacqua.
There is plenty of excitement about the potential of Australian Open junior champion Kyrgios, who was blooded in the Davis Cup tie against Poland. Kyrgios, the only 18-year-old ranked in the world's top 200, made a big impression when he beat former world No.8 Radek Stepanek at the French Open.
''Nick Kyrgios is one of the most exciting young prospects in Australian tennis,'' Australia's former Davis Cup coach Wally Masur said. ''Nick is playing for Canberra. He's had a bit of an elbow problem of late and we're hoping it will clear up. It's a great opportunity for Canberra fans, who would have read about him all year, to get a look at him.
''This tournament is a really good initiative that allows guys like him to play some pressure tennis in front of a crowd, giving you a sprinkling of competitive tennis during what is a tough training month in November.
''The real key is the opportunity for emerging players, those still involved in the national academy and have a few points, like Jordan Thompson or Luke Saville.
''They'll get the opportunity to play more seasoned players like Matt Reid and James Duckworth, who have already kicked some goals on the tour proper. There's also a few older guys like Pat Rafter, Peter Luczak and Richard Fromberg who will have a game. For fans to see good players at suburban venues for free, it can't be a bad thing.''
Masur said he was buoyed by the amount of young talent on the local circuit but warned it took time for players to establish themselves on the world stage.
''Over the last 10 years the physical requirements of tennis have become enormous,'' Masur said.
''Which is why we're starting to see the average age of the top 100 in the men's game reach 27. In the majors this year, there was close to almost 20 or 30 above the age of 30 in the main draw.
''The pre-seasons have become invaluable and that's the great challenge for the likes of Kokkinakis or Kyrgios and emerging players like Luke Saville and Jordan Thompson.
''The real stress is how they physically evolve over the next couple of years so they can deal with the power and aggression of the circuit.''
Top 10: Ashleigh Barty, Caroline Garcia, Jamie Hampton, Jelena Jankovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Lucie Safarova, Maria Sharapova, Karolina Sprem, Sam Stosur, Jarmila Wolfe.
All time favourite: Anna Chakvetadze
Will my weakness for an hour, make me suffer for a life time?