|Posted on January 10, 2011 at 6:08 PM|
The AAMI Classic annual event starts on Wednesday 12th January through to Saturday 15th January 2011. Play starts at 11.00 am (Wed Fri) and 1.00 pm on Saturday. Four matches are played on Wednesday, three each on Thursday and Friday, with two finals on Saturday. Kooyong's AAMI Classic plays an integral role in Australia's "summer of tennis".
Roger Federer is the current AAMI Classic champion and Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi and Michael Chang have all won the event three times.
The draw is an 8-player draw split into 2 sides, the right side and the left side. The winners of their first singles match move to the right side of the draw and the losers of their first match move to the left side of the draw.
Each of the 8 players are guaranteed 3 singles matches and the Top 4 players who play-off in the two finals get to play 4 best of 3 tie break set matches. This is one of the main reasons why such highly ranked players choose to play at Kooyong each year.
Tomas Berdych to complete Australian Open warm-up at Kooyong
World No. 6 Tomas Berdych is among the early confirmations for next January's AAMI Classic in Kooyong, Melbourne.
The Australian Open warm-up tournament is also set to feature US Open semi-finalist Mikhail Youzhny, the 2009 Kooyong winner Fernando Verdasco, Australian No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt, former Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and his French counterpart Gael Monfils.
The announcement of that sextet leaves two spots open in the exhibition event, which has in recent years has seen the likes of 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer and 2008 Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic grace the courts to complete their preparations for the year's first major.
Berdych may not have set the courts alight at Melbourne Park in previous years, his best performances coming in 2008 and 2009 when he reached the fourth round (losing to Federer on both occasions) but he will make his Kooyong debut on the back of an impressive 2010.
The 25-year-old Czech this season finally matched expectation to talent as he reached the semi-finals of the French Open and went one better at Wimbledon, defeating defending champion Federer in the quarter-finals before losing to Rafael Nadal in the final.
No.6 Tomas Berdych - 2010 Wimbledon runner-up
No.9 Fernando Verdasco - 2009 Australian Open semi finalist
No.10 Mikhail Youzhny - 2006 & 2010 US Open semi finalist
No.11 Jurgen Melzer - 2010 Roland Garros semi finalist
No.12 Gael Monfils - 2008 Roland Garros semi finalist
No.13 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 2008 Australian Open runner-up
No.22 Nikolay Davydenko - 4-time Grand Slam semi finalist
No.54 Lleyton Hewitt - 2001 US Open & 2002 Wimbledon Champion