World No.19 and Roger Federer’s Swiss team-mate Stanislas Wawrinka is heading to Adelaide to play in the World Tennis Challenge.
Wawrinka, who has been ranked as high as No.9 on the ATP circuit, will headline Team International at Memorial Drive from January 10-12.
He reached this year’s Australian Open quarter-finals with wins over Gael Monfils and Andy Roddick and in September beat Lleyton Hewitt in their Davis Cup match in Sydney.
WTC Director Roger Rasheed said it was a coup for SA tennis fans.
“It’s great for the tournament,” Rasheed said.
“Australians saw him (Wawrinka) play Lleyton in the last Davis Cup tie where he got over the top.
“He’s got a great game, he’s been in the top 10 just 18 months ago and he’s got a lot of flair and all-round game that the fans will love.”
Wawrinka will team with international coach Brad Gilbert, who has taken charge of some of the biggest name in world tennis including Andre Agassi, Roddick and Andy Murray.
American Gilbert attended last year’s WTC as coach of rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori and loved the event so much he made contact with Tennis SA to make himself available.
Gilbert was ranked as high as No.4 in a singles career that included 20 titles in 13 years.
“Brad is a tennis purist,” Rasheed said. “He loves the sport from the social aspect to the top end.”
The complete line-ups for the WTC will be unveiled at a launch at Memorial Drive today. Team International will do battle with Team Australia, Team America and Team Europe – starring flamboyant Henri Leconte.
Mansour Bahrami is returning as a wildcard for the tournament, which will be broadcast by Fox Sports.