December 4, 2019 / 7:32 AM / 3 days ago

Djokovic adds Adelaide event to Australian Open preparations

Tennis - Davis Cup Finals - Quarter-Final - Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain - November 22, 2019 Serbia's Novak Djokovic celebrates winning his match against Russia's Karen Khachanov REUTERS/Susana Vera

(Reuters) - World number two Novak Djokovic will play in the inaugural Adelaide International tennis competition in January ahead of his Australian Open title defence, tournament organisers said on Wednesday.

Djokovic will start his competitive preparation for the new season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi from Dec. 19-21, before representing Serbia in the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia in early January.

The 32-year-old Serb, who beat Rafa Nadal to claim a record seventh Australian Open title earlier this year, will then arrive in Adelaide for the combined WTA and ATP tournament from Jan. 12-18.

The women’s field will feature American seven-time Grand Slam winner Venus Williams, alongside world number one Ash Barty, Simona Halep, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens.

“Novak and Venus are amongst the all-time greats of our sport and we can’t wait to see them right here in Adelaide,” tournament director Alistair MacDonald said in a statement.

The Australian Open, the year’s first grand slam, will be held at Melbourne Park from Jan. 20-Feb 2.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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