Where are Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka, Naomi Osaka, Emma Raducanu and the rest of the ATP and WTA stars starting their 2024 season? The new campaign starts on December 31, with two weeks of action before the Australian Open, which this this year will be 15 days for the first time. Nadal is set to return to court for the first time in nearly a year.
No sooner is the 2023 season over than thoughts turn to 2024.
In less than a month the tennis off-season will be over and tournaments will be under way in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong leading up to the Australian Open.
The first Grand Slam of the season starts on Sunday, January 14, and there is plenty of action to come before any balls are hit in Melbourne.
But where are Novak Djokovic, Carlos Alcaraz, Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and the rest of the top tennis stars starting their 2024 season? And where will Rafael Nadal and Emma Raducanu be returning?
We run through all you need to know about the start of the new season.
UNITED CUP (ATP/WTA) – DECEMBER 29
Plenty of men’s and women’s players will be starting their new season by competing for their countries at the United Cup, which is held in Perth and Sydney.
Five of the world’s top 10 women will feature at the United Cup and nine of the world’s top 20 men.
Novak Djokovic will be playing for Serbia, Stefanos Tsitsipas will be playing for Greece, Taylor Fritz for USA, Alexander Zverev for Germany, Casper Ruud for Norway, and Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans for Great Britain.
Iga Swiatek will lead Poland’s team, while Jessica Pegula is playing for USA, Maria Sakkari for Greece, Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova for Czech Republic, and Katie Boulter for Great Britain.
Germany’s Angelique Kerber will also be making her return to tennis after giving birth.
BRISBANE INTERNATIONAL (ATP/WTA) – DECEMBER 31
The WTA Brisbane International will be led by world No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka and world No. 4 Elena Rybakina.
“I’m excited about starting my 2024 Australian season in Brisbane,” said Sabalenka. “Australia holds a special place in my heart after winning my first Grand Slam there.”
Sabalenka, who won the Australian Open this year and went 13 matches unbeaten in the country, will be joined by Naomi Osaka, who will be playing her first tournament since giving birth.
Two-time Australian Open champion Osaka hasn’t played since September 2022.
On the ATP side, the draw will be headlined by Rafael Nadal’s return.
Nadal, 37, has not played since losing in the second round of this year’s Australian Open due to injury. He underwent surgery in the summer but is set to make his return in Brisbane.
“After a year away from competition, it’s time to come back,” the Spaniard said in a video posted on social media.
“It will be in Brisbane, the first week of January. I’ll see you there.”
Andy Murray, Holger Rune, Ben Shelton and Grigor Dimitrov are also set to play the tournament.
The Brisbane International has not been held since 2020 on the WTA Tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and 2019 on the ATP Tour.
ASB CLASSIC AUCKLAND (WTA) – JANUARY 1
Coco Gauff will start her season in Auckland, where she is defending champion.
The 2023 US Open winner will be joined in the field by Caroline Wozniacki, who came out of retirement in the summer.
Elina Svitolina, who made the Wimbledon semi-finals this year, is also entered.
HONG KONG OPEN (ATP) – JANUARY 1
The 2024 season will see a return to Hong Kong for the ATP Tour.
World No. 5 Andrey Rublev will headline the ATP 250 event alongside Grand Slam semi-finalists Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov.
The Hong Kong Open was last on the men’s tour in 2002, when Juan Carlos Ferrero beat Carlos Moya to win the title.
WHEN IS RADUCANU RETURNING?
Emma Raducanu’s return date remains uncertain.
The 2021 US Open winner has not played since April, missing the rest of the year after undergoing wrist and ankle operations.
She pulled out of an exhibition match in Macau in December but has reportedly entered into the Australian Open draw.
Due to her ranking she may need to come through qualifying to reach the main draw at the Grand Slam depending on how many withdrawals there are.
IS NADAL RETIRING AFTER THE 2024 SEASON?
Nadal will start what could be his final season on tour in Brisbane.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion said in the summer that 2024 is likely to be his last year as a professional. Whether a run of good results would change that remains to be seen, but all eyes will be on Nadal to see how he looks over the first month in Australia.
Renowned coach Rick Macci doubts Nadal will contend for another Slam next season, but it was only two years ago that he returned from another injury absence to win the Australian Open.
Taylor Fritz has said it will be “pretty crazy” to potentially draw an unseeded Nadal in Melbourne.
“He’s Rafa, so I think even if he’s going to be maybe a little rusty coming back or it takes some time, he’s still going to be playing really well and he’s still going to be tough for a lot of guys to play early and draws as well just because of him being unseeded.”
WHEN DOES THE 2024 AUSTRALIAN OPEN START?
The 2024 Australian Open starts on Sunday, January 14.
The tournament has been extended to 15 days this year in a bid to help reduce the number of late-night finishes.