Simona Halep first name to sign up for Adelaide 2020

Simona Halep’s longtime Australian connection through former coach Darren Cahill has paid off for the new Adelaide International event, with the reigning Wimbledon winner the first big name to sign up for  the January debut.

During her years with Adelaide-born Cahill, Romanian Halep could not help but be marinated in local sporting lore and tales of the beauty and charm of her coach’s hometown.

Now, she’s ready to see it all for herself, with the pre-Australian Open ATP-WTA event kicks off the week before the start of the major in Melbourne.

The USD 1.4 million tournament will run at Memorial Drive from January 12-18, with the men’s and women’s finals played on the Saturday prior to the start of the Open two days later.

“When I heard about the tournament for the first time, I said that I was going to play for sure,” said Halep, who defeated Serena Williams for the Wimbledon title in July.

“I want to go back to Adelaide because I like it so much. I have only great memories of my time there.”

Halep added: “The people are very relaxed and they make you feel very relaxed as well.”

Officials were quick to trumpet their welcome to the former No. 1 and are hoping that more big names on the men’s and women’s sides also enter the field.

The tournament was born out of the disarray caused by the battle of prestige between the ATP and ITF and their battling headline events (November Davis Cup final and January’s new ATP Cup).

The ATP event wiped out the Hopman Cup in Perth as well as the joint-sex tournament in Brisbane at the start of January.

Adelaide is offered as a substitute and will get it’s test of fire in five months.

The so-called City of Churches has been the venue for several non-Tour exos, all leading up to the Open,

Adeliade hosted a men’s hardcourt event, last staged in 2006.

The venerable Memorial Drive complex situated next to the Oval cricket grounds has been re-done, with a new canopy roof over Centre court to protect from the blazing South Australian summer sun.

Written by Bill Scott for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online

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