Tennis: Top-20 stars Marin Cilic, Taylor Fritz commit to play Kooyong Classic

Two more top-20 stars are locked in to headline the returning Kooyong Classic in January.

After News Corp revealed in August that world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz and Alex de Minaur were the first two players to commit, they are now joined by US Open champion Marin Cilic and American Taylor Fritz.

The Covid-19 pandemic sidelined the event for the past two years but it will be held at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club between January 10 to 12 next year.

Cilic won his grand slam title in New York eight years ago but is enjoying a renaissance this season, surging to No.14 in the rankings after being as high as third in 2018.

He upset world No.4 Daniil Medvedev on his way to this year’s French Open semi-finals and made last week’s Tel Aviv Open final before losing to Novak Djokovic.

Kooyong Classic tournament director Peter Johnston was the managing director at the Tel Aviv event and is thrilled to score commitments from Cilic and Fritz.

Fritz is at a career-high No.11 on the back of winning two singles titles this year, on grass at Eastbourne and his greatest triumph at Masters 1000 tournament Indian Wells.

The 24-year-old ended Rafael Nadal’s 20-match winning streak in the Indian Wells final.

“It’s fantastic to have Taylor playing at Kooyong for the first time and to welcome Marin back for the 2023 tournament,” Johnston said.

“With these two stars, Alex and the newly crowned US Open champion and world No.1 Carlos Alcaraz in the field, the 2023 Kooyong Classic is shaping up as a ‘must see’ for fans in January.”

Fritz said playing at Kooyong for the first time would be the “perfect preparation” for the Australian Open.

GO Markets has joined Care A2+ in financially backing the Kooyong Classic.

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