Tennis

Singapore to host its first ATP 250 tournament from Feb 22-28

Some of the world's top men's tennis players could extend their Australian Open rivalries in Singapore next month, just after the year's first Grand Slam in Melbourne ends on Feb 21.

The ATP announced last night that the Republic will be hosting an ATP 250 tournament at the Singapore Sports Hub's OCBC Arena from Feb 22-28 on a single-year licence.

With over 60 ATP tournaments in a typical season, the ATP 250 tournament category forms the backbone of the ATP Tour, alongside ATP 500 and ATP Masters 1000 events, with all events leading to the season-ending Nitto ATP Finals.

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Edwin Tong wrote in a Facebook post last night: "We are happy that the ATP, the governing body of men's professional tennis, has awarded this ATP 250 to Singapore. It will be our first ATP 250 tournament, hosted in Singapore.

"Safety for all - players, coaches, officials and fans - remains our top priority. Sport Singapore and Singapore Tennis Association, supported by Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore Sports Hub, will work closely on safe management measures to ensure the well-being of all involved in the tournament."

In a media statement, SportSG said the combined effort of all parties will be key to enabling international sporting events' return to Singapore in stages throughout the year.

SportSG chief executive Lim Teck Yin said: "Singapore's hosting of this event capitalises on the 'Asia Swing' and will pave the way for future collaboration with the ATP for future men's tennis events.

"We are mindful that the Covid situation is fluid and will adapt measures for the tournament that are consistent with the national posture. We are monitoring the situation at the Australian Open where the majority of players will be coming to Singapore from."

The last top-tier tennis event that the Republic hosted was the WTA Finals, which took place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium from 2014 to 2018.

Alison Lee, EVP International Region (ATP), said Singapore has an excellent track record of delivering international sporting events at a world-class standard and they "have confidence this tournament will be no exception, with a primary focus on ensuring safety".

Singapore is one of two new ATP 250 events on the calendar, along with Marbella, whose tournament runs from April 5-11.

Tennis