ATP Stars Set Sail On Sydney Harbour
Some of the ATP World Tour's finest explore Sydney ahead of this week’s event
With the Sydney International set to get underway this week in the coastal capital of New South Wales, some of the world’s top players took the time to witness some of the city’s famous sights.
World No. 26 Diego Schwartzman, who is making his first appearance in Sydney this week, joined 2017 Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open finalist Mischa Zverev on a boat in the prolific Sydney Harbour. The ATP World Tour stars enjoyed some fine dining and a game of mini-tennis next to the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a brilliant sunny day in southern Australia.
“It’s amazing for me. It’s my first time here in Sydney – I am enjoying it a lot,” said Schwartzman, the tournament’s third seed. “I came here the other night with my coach and my friends and it’s amazing to be here in the day. The weather is good today and I think I’m enjoying [it] a lot.”
The eighth seed, Zverev, who plays Leonardo Mayer in the first round of the tournament, noticed quite the difference between tennis on land and sea.
“It’s very different, very unusual. There no way we are [playing like] on the mainland – we are on a boat – and we don’t have this view, so this is very unique,” said the 30-year-old German. “Sydney is a great city but I never got to see it from this point of view and I’m really enjoying myself.”
Elsewhere in the city, Fabio Fognini, joined by 2017 US Open women’s singles champion Sloane Stephens, took a tour of the Sydney’s Cockatoo Island, having a quick hit on the unique grass courts of the island, which is a popular site for many cultural and heritage events in the region.
“The island, it’s quite different – I’ve never been here so it’s something special also for us,” said Fognini. “...On tour we have no time to do these kind of thing because we are always in hotels and tennis courts, tennis courts and hotels, so I really enjoyed it.”
The 28-player draw gets underway Sunday with defending champion Gilles Muller and six other Top 30 players headlining the action. In addition, 18-year-old Alex de Minaur returns to his hometown of Sydney following a breakthrough run to the semifinals of the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp, and is joined by compatriots Jordan Thompson, Alex Bolt and John Millman.
Earlier, top-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas participated in the draw ceremony for the tournament, which is currently in its 125th edition. Ramos-Vinolas was the runner-up at last year’s Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters and will face either Thompson or Paolo Lorenzi in his opening match.