To compete at the Australian Open Junior Championships is a dream for many junior tennis players. But Dunlop made this dream a reality for a select few by hosting their annual wildcard ‘Road to the AO Juniors’ tournament in Japan between 13th to 16th November. The deserved winners have been awarded with a main draw singles wildcard and the amazing opportunity to experience their first Grand Slam tournament – playing at the Australian Open Junior Championships in Melbourne at the start of 2023.
The Road to the AO Juniors tournament was the first to include international players in three years due to covid travel restrictions. The 2020 and 2021 events were only limited to players from Japan, but this tournament was able to invite the top junior players (16 boys and 16 girls) to compete from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.
Dunlop’s partnership with the Australian Open dates back to 2018, when Dunlop became the first Japanese-funded company to ever sponsor a Grand Slam tennis ball. Since then, together with Tennis Australia and the Japan Tennis Association, Dunlop continues to develop and support junior tennis in the Asia-Pacific region.
“We are very excited to host the tournament for another year, continuing to build on the successful tournaments from the past four years. Our strong desire is to give opportunities to junior players and to contribute to the growth of junior players in the Asian Pacific region. Tennis Australia, the Japanese Tennis Association, and Dunlop all share the same passion, drive and focus to grow the sport with juniors being the foundation of our future. I am looking forward to seeing some great tennis and performances from these talented young players.” said Head of Tennis Business, Ken Yamamoto.