With 45 of the world’s top 50, including world number 1 Ash Barty, the women’s circuit divided its players for the pre-Australian Open competition.
Barty will face stiff competition at the Yarra Valley Classic alongside 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams., world number 4 and AO 2020 champion Sofia Kenin, Czechs Karolina Pliskova and Petra Kvitova, and Nadia Podoroska, among others.
The Gippsland Trophy will be headed by world number 2 Simona Halep, world number 3 Naomi Osaka and world number 5 Elina Svitolina.
Meanwhile, the Grampians Trophy, created for WTA players affected by the harsh quarantine, includes former Australian Open champions Victoria Azarenka and Angelique Kerber along with world number 8 Bianca Andreescu and world number 12 Belinda Bencic.
Even the Phillip Island Trophy, a WTA 250 tournament, will take place during the second week of the Australian Open.
On the men’s side, David Goffin and Karen Khachanov lead the Great Ocean Road Open. The Murray River Open will see local fan favorite Nick Kyrgios compete alongside former Australian champion Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov.
At the same time, the ATP Cup will bring together the best players (Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem, among others) by countries as a preview to the first Grand Slam of the season.