World Tennis League: Kyrgios takes on Auger-Aliassime in opener

The evening also feature a top-drawer women’s singles match between World No.1 Iga Świątek (Kites) and No.4 ranked Caroline Garcia (Eagles)


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Australia's Nick Kyrgios. — AFP
Australia's Nick Kyrgios. — AFP

Published: Mon 19 Dec 2022, 1:28 AM

Tennis fans are in for a treat in the New Year when Netflix will serve up a much-anticipated new sports docu-series. But, before that, it’s the turn of the home-grown World Tennis League (WTL) to crown what has been an epic year for sport in the Middle East.

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Nick Kyrgios will have the honour of stamping the inaugural mixed-gender team tournament on the planet’s ever-growing sporting map when they face off in Monday’s opening match between franchise-owned Kites and The Eagles.

Monday's opener will also feature a top-drawer women’s singles match between World No.1 Iga Świątek (Kites) and No 4 ranked Caroline Garcia (Eagles), while Holger Rune and Sania Mirza pair up for the mixed-doubles match against Bianca Andreescu and Rohan Bopanna.

The two other teams competing in the six-day fan-friendly round-robin event at the iconic Coco-Cola Arena in Dubai are Novak Djokovic’s Falcons and Alexander Zverev’s Hawks, together with a host of world class players from both the men’s ATP Tour and the women’s WTA tour.

All four teams will play each other in a round-robin format with each match consisting of two sets with no-ad scoring. Should the match be tied at one-set-all, then a super-tiebreak will be resorted to with the first player to score 10 points securing the victory.

Explaining the format WTL CEO Scott Davidoff said: “The whole idea was to adopt a fan-friendly format that was quick and engaging. More action and more combinations will keep fans on the edge of their seats.

“We’ve had a lot of team events in the past but when you combine the best men and women players in the world competing over a shorter format it makes for very interesting viewing.

“Team competitions bring out the personalities of the players and that’s something that we hope the World Tennis League will bring to the fore over the next six days.” Davidoff added.

“We have a nice mix of current and not-so-current players, both men and women, who have tremendous appeal. With a short format like ours everything is on the line right from the first serve. We expect players to be at their best from the go.

“Hopefully, the tournament will be a success and also benefit the sport and help it grow even further.


(doors open 5 pm)

6 pm: The Kites v The Eagles

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Nick Kyrgios

Iga Swiatek vs Caroline Garcia

Holger Rune/Sania Mirza vs Bianca Andreescu/Rohan Bopanna

Concert starts: 10 pm. Artist: Tiesto

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