The 2018 Sydney International tennis tournament is a specific and targeted tour stop for the WTA. This is one of the oldest non-major tournaments in the world, dating back to the late 19th century. It has become a fixture of the Australian sporting scene and a natural warm-up event before the Australian Open in Melbourne, later in the month of January.
We’re going to see a star-studded field at this event as almost all of the big names on the women’s side are participating. Of course, Serena Williams is still out (and announced that she’ll skip the 2018 Australian Open) but we will see her sister, Venus, Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Sloane Stephens and more.
The competition in the 32-player main draw will begin on Sunday, January 7.
Event: WTA Apia International
Category: WTA Premier Level
Date: January 7-13, 2018
Location: NSW Tennis Centre – Sydney, Australia
With a prize money allotment of nearly $734,000, this event received a very slight purse increase of roughly $3,000 from 2017. It represents a substantial purse given the 32-player field. It’s a very early season warm-up event which rises above the international tier, so it’s valuable for players to enter not just for the sake of practice, but for rankings points and prize money.
Championship – 470 points.
Runner-up – 305
Semifinal – 185
Quarterfinal – 100
Round of 16 – 55 points.
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2017: Johanna Konta def. Agnieszka Radwanska, 6-4, 6-2
2016: Svetlana Kuznetsova d. Monica Puig, 6-0, 6-2
2015: Petra Kvitova d. Karolina Pliskova, 7-6, 7-6
2014: Tsvetana Pironkova d. Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 6-4
2013: Agnieszka Radwanska d. Dominika Cibulkova, 6-0, 6-0
This is as good a field as you’ll ever see for an event held the week before a major tournament. Before the French Open, the WTA usually winds down, but because players are just starting the season, they’re happy to play just days before the Australian Open, without an off week.
All eight of the seeds at this tournament are ranked in the top 16 of the WTA: Garbine Muguruza is the World No. 2 and the top seed. Venus Williams is fifth in the world. She’s the second seed in Sydney. Jelena Ostapenko is the seventh-ranked player in the world, good enough for the third seed. Ostapenko is fresh off a banner campaign where she won the French Open. On the year, she was 43-20, including a record of 21-11 on the hard courts (although just 1-3 on indoor hard courts).
Jo Konta, ranked ninth in the world, is the fourth seed. Konta is 2-1 on the season so far. She is coming off back-to-back seasons where she collected at least 36 wins. Last year, she was 36-16 on the main tour draw with a record of 21-9 on the hard courts. The year before, she was 46-22 while going 38-14 on the hard courts.
U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens is the sixth seed at this tournament, a testament to its depth and level of quality. Anastasija Sevastova, who pushed Stephens in a tough and close quarterfinal at that U.S. Open tournament, is the eighth seed at this tournament. Fans will be able to get a taste of several attractive matchups which might either offer a glimpse of what is to come at the Australian Open, or which might give the losing players crucial information that might help them to adjust if a rematch occurs in Melbourne in a couple of weeks. Either way, this tournament will be fascinating as a table-setter for the Australian Open.
Muguruza could easily become the Australian Open favorite. Venus, the second seed, made the Australian Open final last year. Ostapenko won the French Open last season, and Konta reached the Wimbledon semifinals. If those are the top four seeds, this event should pack a real punch.
NSW Tennis Centre
The host site for Sydney’s venerable tennis tournament has a main stadium court with a capacity of 10,000 seats. The tennis complex also has second and third show courts with seating capacities of 4,000 and 2,000 people. It’s a fan-friendly venue which can sufficiently host this dual-gender event. Both the WTA and ATP Tours come to Sydney for this tennis festival.
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