Tennis

Novak Djokovic signs up to new event for extra Australian Open warm-up

Novak Djokovic signs up to new event for extra Australian Open warm-up
Djokovic will compete in the Tie Break Tens event (Picture: Getty)

Novak Djokovic will launch Tie Break Tens in Melbourne days ahead of the Australian Open as tennis continues its attempts to capture a younger audience.

The Serb has not played competitively since retiring from his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych but his recovery from an elbow problem is going smoothly and he is due to return to action at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi this week before heading to Doha.

After attempting to defend one of the two titles he won in 2017, the 12-time Grand Slam champion will now participate in the shortened tennis format on Wednesday 10 January on Australian Open show court Margaret Court Arena.

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Joined by Aussie Nick Kyrgios and six other ATP stars, the players will compete in short matches consisting of one super tie break to 10 points and the event will reach its conclusion that night.

Kyrgios will use the event to raise funds for his charity, the NK Foundation, and he will go head-to-head with the Serb in a fascinating addition to the pre-Australian Open calendar.

‘I can’t wait to get out on court and not only play some exciting tennis, but also raise awareness for the NK Foundation which I’m incredibly proud of,’ Kyrgios said.

Novak Djokovic signs up to new event for extra Australian Open warm-up
Kyrgios will participate (Picture: Getty)

‘Tie Break Tens is a great format and really suits my game style. I’m looking forward to having some fun with it and I reckon the crowds will really get into it.

‘It will be the perfect chance for fans to see some high quality tennis before the big one, the Australian Open, starts.’

Novak Djokovic signs up to new event for extra Australian Open warm-up
Edmund beat Murray at the first Tie Break Tens event (Picture: Getty)

Tie Break Tens first launched in 2015, when Kyle Edmund beat Andy Murray at the Royal Albert Hall in London and two further tournaments have been held in Madrid and Vienna.

ATP and WTA stars have both got on board with the event, with Maria Sharapova, Stan Wawrinka, Simona Halep, Johanna Konta, Grigor Dimitrov and Dominic Thiem all among those involved.

The winner will take home a cool £145,000. Not bad for one night’s work!

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