Women’s great to join Barty at Brisbane International
FORMER world No.1 Venus Williams has joined the field and Gold Coaster Sam Stosur could make her Queensland swansong at January's Brisbane International tennis tournament.
With Queensland darling and current world No.1 Ash Barty already committed to the season-opening tournament, along with big-name stars Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova, organisers confirmed on Tuesday that those players will be joined by Williams, Stosur and her Aussie Federation Cup teammate Ajla Tomljanovic.
Williams, the older sister of record-breaking Serena, played in Queensland when the event was held on the Gold Coast, but has never played in the Brisbane incarnation of the tournament, while Stosur has been a semi regular in Brisbane over the past decade.
It could be the first, and last, Brisbane appearance for Williams, who at 39 is the oldest player on the WTA Tour, while Stosur, at 35 is the third oldest and also in the twilight of her career.
Brisbane 21-year-old Priscilla Hon will also play after being granted a wildcard.
Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones said it was one of the most diverse and exciting line-ups in event's history.
"This will be the best line-up in the world in 2020. It will be a blockbuster," she said."If you're a tennis fan, Brisbane will be the place to be in January.
"Queensland is home to some of the best athletes and venues in world sport and today's news reinforces the strength of the Brisbane International and helps to build on our reputation as the major events capital of Australia.
"We know Queenslanders and Australians in general will flock to support our World No. 1 and local hero Ash Barty and all the Aussies in the field.
"Add to that the exciting international talent including Venus Williams and Naomi Osaka and we've got an event that will bring fans to Queensland to celebrate the start of the summer tennis schedule."
Brisbane International tournament director Mark Handley said tennis fans would be spoilt for choice when they visited the tournament in January.
"To be able to add Venus, Elina, Sam and Ajla to an already blockbuster field says a lot about the Brisbane International and the city as a destination to visit," he said.
For the first time, next year's Brisbane International will not have a men's field, but instead host matches of the newly formed ATP Cup.