AO Press Release, January 8, 2018
THE scene has been set for the very first Tie Break Tens ‘tournament in a night’ in Melbourne, with Novak Djokovic and Lleyton Hewitt to kick off the exciting first round tie break match ups.
This is just one of the rivalries set to be reignited at Margaret Court Arena on Wednesday 11 January, in what promises to be a thrilling night of high-octane tennis.
The first round draw and head to head match ups are as follows:
Novak Djokovic (SRB) v Lleyton Hewitt (AUS)
Head to head: Djokovic leads Hewitt 6-1.
The last time the pair played was at the London Olympics in 2012, where Djokovic won 4-6 7-5 6-1 and with a 218-124 win-loss record in tie-breaks, he will be a formidable opponent. Although retiring from singles in 2016 Hewitt has made several guest appearances on the doubles court and his 52.3 percent career record in tie breaks will stand him in good stead, as will his renowned fighting spirit.
Lucas Pouille (FRA) v Rafael Nadal (ESP)
Head to head: Nadal leads Pouille 2-1.
The pair played last in Beijing in China, where Nadal won a close match 4-6 7-6(6) 7-5.
Tomas Berdych (CZE) v Nick Kyrgios (AUS)
Head to head: Berdych leads Kyrgios 2-1.
They last played in Dubai in 2016 where Kyrgios posted his first win against Berdych 6-4 6-4. Renowned for his lightning-fast serve and style of play, Kyrgios will come into Tie Break Tens full of confidence after winning the Brisbane International.
Stan Wawrinka (SUI) v Dominic Thiem (AUS)
Head to head: Warwinka leads Thiem 3-1.
Wawrinka was the victor in their last battle, at the ATP season ending championships in 2017, but Thiem has the edge in Tie Break Tens, winning the final against Andy Murray in 2016.
Tie Break Tens will see all eight players compete in knock out 10-point tie breaks, with the winner taking home the generous US $250,000 prize money purse.
Former Australian Open champion Pat Cash, in announcing the draw today at Melbourne Park, said Tie Break Tens was a great addition to the lead in to the Australian Open.
“It’s a fun event, it’s great money for the guys, it’s great practice, and it’s intense,” he said.
“The great thing about tiebreaks is that anybody can win one.
“It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a top-ranked player to win – a guy like Lleyton Hewitt, who’s recently retired, can still play three good tiebreaks and come away with the money!”
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley believes the event will be an important addition to that all important lead in to the Australian Open.
“Tie Break Tens is a great addition to our Australian Open lead-in week,” Tiley said.
“It’s fantastic to have eight world-class players at MCA on Wednesday night, all of them working hard to prepare 100 per cent for the big one, the Australian Open, starting on Monday,” he said.
“MCA is the perfect stage for our debut event in Australia,” Tie Break Tens CEO Felicity Barnard said,
“The draw has certainly provided some exciting first round matches. With tie breaks, anything can happen, so it will be great to see who will be crowned our Melbourne Champion on Wednesday.”
Melbourne joins London, Madrid and Vienna as cities who have hosted the new format.
Tie Break Tens first launched in 2015 when rising star Kyle Edmund beat top-seeded Andy Murray in a gripping final at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
Since then, two further tournaments have been staged in Madrid and Vienna with stars such as Dominic Thiem, Stan Wawrinka, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov, Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Johanna Konta all vying for huge winner-takes-all prizes.