British No 3 Cameron Norrie to play in NZ Premier League as tennis returns to southern hemisphere
New Zealand will host the southern hemisphere’s first professional tournament following the sport’s enforced break with 24 players, including Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, set to take part.
Tennis has been on a hiatus since the start of March and, if things go according to plan, then the ATP and WTA Tours will resume on August 1.
However, a few closed-door exhibition and invitational tournaments have been played in the northern hemisphere with several more scheduled for June and July.
New Zealand will also get in on the act after the country’s tennis federation launched the team-based NZ Premier League for men’s players.
The tournament will get underway on June 3 with matches played in Auckland without any fans and Sky Sports as well the YouTube channel, Sky Sport Next, will broadcast all 112 matches live.
“Training without a goal is not possible for professional and competitive athletes,” Tennis New Zealand High Performance Director Christophe Lambert said in a statement.
“The NZ Premier League offers opportunities for our best players to have a home base competitive environment so they are ready to jump back in when the pro circuit starts again, but also for our younger players to get the experience needed to perform at the highest level.”
The event will feature mostly New Zealand-based players with world No 77 Norrie likely to be highest-ranked player in the tournament while Japan’s Ben McLachlan another foreign entrant.
The 24 players will be split into eight teams of three and they will compete in round-robin matches and the finals.
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