Yarra Valley Classic and Gippsland Trophy get underway

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The start of the Australian Swing will be super busy, as the first day of the Yarra Valley Classic and Gippsland Trophy features 40 matches. These two tournaments taking place at Melbourne Park from January 31 to February 6 are the WTA’s brilliant solution to have as much tennis as possible ahead of the Australian Open while also complying with coronavirus restrictions.

Australian world number one Ashleigh Barty is the top seed at the Yarra Valley Classic, followed by reigning Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, Karolina Pliskova, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza, Petra Martic, and Marketa Vondrousova. The Top 8 seeds have first-round byes.

When it comes to Australian players, besides Barty, the Yarra Valley Classic features veteran Samantha Stosur, Maddison Inglis, Daria Gavrilova and Lizette Cabrera.

Romania’s Simona Halep is the top seed at the Gippsland Trophy, followed by Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina, Aryna Sabalenka, Johanna Konta, Iga Swiatek, Elise Mertens, and Karolina Muchova.

The fourth-seeded Sabalenka is now on a 15-match winning streak which includes Ostrava and Linz titles at the end of 2020 and Abu Dhabi title at the start of 2021.

Australia’s Destanee Aiava, Astra Sharma, Arina Rodionova, Olivia Gadecki, and Ajla Tomljanovic are all in the draw.

A third WTA 500 event leading up to the Australian Open, the Grampians Trophy, will take place February 3 to February 7 and feature players who were isolated in hard quarantine because someone from their charter flight tested positive for coronavirus on their arrival in Australia. This additional tournament will give players who have not been able to train outside of their hotel rooms an opportunity to compete fairly and prepare for the Grand Slam.

The top seed at the Grampians Trophy will be the 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu, who hasn’t played a tennis tournament since the 2019 WTA Finals. The draw also features former Australian Open champions Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber, former US Open winners Sloane Stephens and Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Top 20 stars Belinda Bencic and Elena Rybakina.


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