Petra Kvitova has added her name to the list of Grand Slam champions who will compete at the 2018 Sydney International.
She joins seven-time Slam winner Venus Williams, reigning Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko and US Open titlist Sloane Stephens in the women’s draw, as well as defending Sydney International champion Johanna Konta.
The champion in Sydney in 2015, and twice a semifinalist (in 2012 and 2014), Kvitova was forced to miss the 2017 Sydney International after she was attacked during a home invasion in December 2016 and was sidelined for five months.
When she returned to competitive tennis at the French Open, it was the start of an impressive comeback that saw the two-time Wimbledon champion win the Birmingham title two weeks later. The 27-year-old then went on to reach the quarterfinals at the US Open and the semifinals in Beijing in the latter stages of the season.
"I'm really looking forward to being back in Sydney in January, particularly because I wasn't able to play there this year,” said Kvitova.
“It's a beautiful city and the tournament has attracted a top field this year which will make it a great test before the Australian Open.
“I know that I have no points to defend in the first half of the year so I'm seeing 2018 as a fresh start and a chance to embrace my 'second career’, if I can call it that. The conditions in Australia are always great and suit my game so hopefully I can find my best tennis early in the season."
Sydney International Tournament Director and Tennis NSW CEO Lawrence Robertson said he is delighted to add another Grand Slam winner to the list of Sydney International competitors, and paid tribute to Kvitova’s resilience.
“Petra’s attendance is special. This will be her fifth appearance at the Sydney International and her impressive comeback is an inspiration to all. We’re proud and excited that she has decided that Sydney is the best place to start her 2018 season,” said Robertson.
“You can never have too many Grand Slam champions at your tournament, and this year’s list is one of our most star-studded draws ever.
“We work hard to create an event that attracts the world’s best and our entries for 2018 prove we’re doing just that.”
The Sydney International will take place at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from 7-13 January 2018.