BRISBANE, Australia - US Open champion Naomi Osaka and WTA World No.8 Sloane Stephens are among the players to have confirmed their presence at the season-opening Brisbane International event.
The pair will be joined in Australia by two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova as well as 2011 US Open champion and home favorite Samantha Stosur.
Stosur, who has nine WTA singles titles under her belt, is especially pleased to be starting the season with the backing of a supportive home crowd.
“I always love starting my season at the Brisbane International, especially because I can play in front of my family and friends,” she said.
“Pat Rafter Arena is so intimate that I can clearly hear everyone cheering for me, it’s great.”
Osaka, too, has expressed her pleasure to start her Australian Open chase at the tournament.
“I‘m excited about starting my 2019 Australian season in Brisbane. I have been there before and have great memories of the city and playing there,” she said.
“Since winning the US Open, I’ve had lots of messages of support from Australia so it will be special to play at Pat Rafter Arena in January.”
WTA World No.7 Petra Kvitova, meanwhile, is delighted to be returning to a venue where she has known success in the past.
“I have great memories of playing in Brisbane, particularly in 2011 when I won the event. The fans are always so excited and very supportive of the players,” Kvitova said.
“The tournament is really well run and it’s a great way to the start the new season. It’s a very relaxing atmosphere and I am really looking forward to being back there.”
Tournament director Cameron Pearson is pleased to have assembled such a high-quality field and is excited about the prospect of a thrilling conclusion to the competition.
“The field is shaping up nicely once again,” Pearson said.
“We are particularly excited this year to introduce a new schedule which will guarantee more quality matches in the opening days of the tournament, culminating in an incredible afternoon where both the women’s and men’s singles champions will be crowned during the same session on Sunday.”
The action begins at the Queensland Tennis Centre on December 30, 2018 and concludes a week later on January 6, 2019.