Rublev, Tiafoe headline ATP return to Hong Kong | The Express Tribune


World number five Andrey Rublev will begin his 2024 season at the Hong Kong Open when the ATP Tour returns to the city for the first time in more than 20 years, organisers said Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Russian will be joined by Grand Slam semi-finalists Frances Tiafoe and Karen Khachanov for the January 1-7 event at Victoria Park, an important warm-up for the Australian Open.

Men last competed for the Hong Kong Open in 2002 and former champions include Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Pat Cash, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors.

Australian great Rod Laver won the inaugural edition in 1973.

The fiery Rublev, who will be top seed, won two titles this year, at Bastad in Sweden and Monte Carlo.

American world number 16 Tiafoe rose to prominence at the 2022 US Open, where he lost an epic five-set semi-final to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz, having knocked out Rafael Nadal in the last 16.

Russia’s Khachanov also has recent Grand Slam pedigree.

He also reached the semi-finals of the US Open in 2022, losing to Casper Ruud, and got to the last four of this year’s Australian Open where he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“I’m looking forward to helping bring back ATP Tour excitement to the city for the first time since the early 2000s,” said Khachanov.

Veteran Croat and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic will begin his injury comeback at the event.

The 35-year-old had knee surgery after suffering injury in January this year and only played one match on tour subsequently in 2023, sliding to 666th in the world.

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