As part of the a huge lead-up week on the Australian Open grounds in Melbourne, the ATP will hold a new 56-draw 250 level event starting Monday.
The Murray River Open (Melbourne #2) boasts a solid field with 56 players trying to win the $19,500 champions prize and 250 ranking points.
Former Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka is the top seed followed by Grigor Dimitrov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Borna Coric, Capser Ruud and Taylor Fritz.
Marin Cilic, Frances Tiafoe, Gilles Simon, Viktor Troicki, Bernard Tomic, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Ugo Humbert and Alexei Popyrin are also in the field plus Australian star Nick Kyrgios.
The 25-year-old Kyrgios hasn’t played a match in 11 months.
“I actually didn’t touch a tennis racquet for the first four or five months of quarantine,” Kyrgios told the Australian media on Saturday. “I just wanted to get completely away from it and it was actually tough to start getting back into it, I’m not going to lie.”
Kyrgios could meet countryman Bernard Tomic in a first-time clash in the second round — Tomic was the last person to make the field at No. 229. Kyrgios could then face Coric in the QFs and Wawrinka in the semifinals.
The oft-injured Kokkinakis also returns. The 24-year-old opens against compatriot Alex Bolt.
The final will be played on Sunday.
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