Top 10 Men Cilic and Thiem Join Two-Time Champ Goffin In Classy Kooyong Men’s DrawPosted on November 9, 2017
Four men ranked in the ATP world rankings top 10 will finalise their Australian Open preparations at the 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic.
Two-time champion and reigning Kooyong Classic titleholder David Goffin (Belgium), 2017 Wimbledon finalist Marin Cilic (Croatia) and former top ten player, big-serving South African star Kevin Anderson who made it to the US Open final this year will join rising Austrian star Dominic Thiem in one of the deepest men’s line ups at Kooyong for years.
They’ll be joined by Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, popular Frenchman Richard Gasquet and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the eight-man field, with one spot still to be filled with two months to go before the first serve of the tournament.
The 30th anniversary of the traditional pre-Australian Open event will be held from Tuesday 9 – Friday 12 January and will feature three players in this year’s ATP Tour Finals in London commencing this weekend.
Cilic, Thiem and Goffin have all qualified for the tournament, where Carreno Busta will serve as the first alternate given Stan Wawrinka’s absence through injury.
Goffin, who won ATP tour titles in Tokyo and Shenzhen and Carreno Busta are also set to confirm a season ending top ten finish.
Tournament director Peter Johnston is more than pleased with the field for 2018 and delighted to have the winner of the inaugural tournament in 1998, the ‘King of Kooyong’ Pat Cash, on hand to crown the 2018 champions in his role as event ambassador.
|Player||Country||ATP Ranking||Race to London Ranking|
|Pablo Carreno Busta||Spain||10||10|
|Kevin Anderson||South Africa||14||14|
Cilic will be the highest ranked starter at the Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club at number four in the world after the 2014 US Open champion played in the final at Wimbledon final this year losing to the great Roger Federer.
“I have chosen to play at Kooyong in 2018 as my lead-up to the Australian Open,” Cilic said.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at the club, which has an amazing tradition and I hope it’s going to be really good preparation for me.”
The big-serving Croatian will be joined by 24-year-old Thiem from Austria who has climbed to number five in the world following a strong season that included a semi-final appearance at Roland Garros.
At the French Open Thiem, who has won eight tour titles, lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal before making the round of 16 at the next two Grand Slams, as he did at the Australian Open last January losing to Goffin.
A recent member of the top ten is 26-year-old Carreno Busta from Spain who made the 2017 US Open semi-finals, falling to current world number 14 Anderson from South Africa who will also play at Kooyong.
Carreno Busta won two tour titles in 2017 and had a great run at the French Open defeating Grigor Dimitrov and Milos Raonic before retiring hurt against compatriot Nadal in the quarter-finals.
“I have decided to play at Kooyong as I have heard so much about the club as the former home of the Australian Open and it will be great to play there,” Carreno Busta said.
“The playing conditions there will be similar to Melbourne Park so it should be the perfect preparation for me.”
Six-foot-eight Anderson capped the season in good form making the US Open final after dropping just three sets on his way to facing world number one Nadal in New York.
Former world number seven and winner of 14 career tour titles Gasquet also features at Kooyong in 2018, as will young star Nishioka from Japan who will return from injury with a protected ranking of 67 this season.
The 2018 event will reveal its women’s field in the coming weeks.
Over the years fans have been able to enjoy world-class tennis while being able to get up close to the stars of the show thanks to the intimate nature of the historical boutique venue.
That experience will be enhanced even further in 2018 with the grass outside courts at Kooyong transformed into the Kooyong Common fan zone – the perfect place to relax on a summer’s day.
Premium packages and spectator tickets are on sale from Thursday November 9th at 10:00am.
Ticket prices start from $25.00 with kids 16 and under free.