Seven Grand Slam Champions Bound For Brisbane

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Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

Brisbane International Tennis News

Seven Grand Slam champions will headline Brisbane International 2016 presented by Suncorp in a field that features both legends of the sport and top rising stars.

Grand Slam champions Roger Federer (SUI), Marin Cilic (CRO), Maria Sharapova (RUS), Sam Stosur (Qld) and Victoria Azarenka (BLR) will all commence their 2016 campaigns in Brisbane this summer, alongside fellow Grand Slam title-holders and tennis legends John McEnroe (USA) and Pat Cash (Vic).

They will be joined by some of the sport’s most exciting young stars including David Goffin (BEL), Queensland’s own Bernard Tomic, Dominic Thiem (AUT), Korean teenager Hyeon Chung, Aussie wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA), 2015 Wimbledon finalist and world No.3 Garbine Muguruza (ESP) and Swiss prodigy Belinda Bencic.

Eight of the world’s top 20 men and nine of the top 20 women will feature at the event, setting the stage for a blockbuster week of on-court action.

Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will lead the star-studded men’s draw alongside Kei Nishikori (JPN), 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, Brisbane International 2015 finalist Milos Raonic (CAN) and Grigor Dimitrov (BUL).

Aussie trio Tomic, Kokkinakis and Sam Groth (Vic) – who on Monday night took out Australia’s top tennis award, the Newcombe Medal, and will enter the 2016 season on the verge of the world’s top 50 – will start as local favourites for the Roy Emerson Trophy when play gets under way at Queensland Tennis Centre on Sunday 3 January.

In the women’s draw five-time Grand Slam title-holder and defending Brisbane International champion Maria Sharapova heads a world class line-up with world No.2 Simona Halep (ROU), Muguruza, world No.10 Angelique Kerber (GER) and Brisbane International 2009 champion Azarenka.

Also set to battle it out for the Evonne Goolagong Trophy are top 20 players Timea Bacsinszky (SUI), Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP), 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci (ITA) and Sara Errani (ITA).

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said fans could look forward to a massive eight days of tennis in January.

“We’re really excited by the strength of both the men’s and women’s draws and counting down to what should be a fantastic week of tennis,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our two defending champions back to Brisbane, who will both have a real fight on their hands to win back-to-back titles. Every year the tournament increases in profile and the calibre of the 2016 field is certainly testament to the players’ regard for the event.

“This summer we’ll also welcome two legends of the sport, John McEnroe and Pat Cash, to contest the inaugural FAST4 legends showdown on women’s final day, just one of the exciting initiatives in store.

“With just under 40 days to go until play starts at Queensland Tennis Centre tickets are in hot demand, and I encourage all fans to book their seats early and join in the excitement of the event.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said an exceptional line-up of talent bound for next year’s Brisbane International cemented the event as Queensland’s premier tennis tournament.

“With both defending champions in Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova back in Brisbane alongside another five Grand Slam champions, it’s easy to see why around 100,000 fans flock to this event each year,” Minister Jones said.

“This is a signature event on the It’s Live! in Queensland calendar, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, and I’m excited to see the world’s best players take to Pat Rafter Arena in 2016.”

The official field for Brisbane International 2016 presented by Suncorp is:

Men – Includes world rankings

Roger Federer (SUI)* – No.3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) – No.8
Marin Cilic (CRO)* – No.13
Milos Raonic (CAN) – No.14
Gilles Simon (FRA) – No.15
David Goffin (BEL) – No.16
Bernard Tomic (Qld) – No.18
Dominic Thiem (AUT) – No.20
Viktor Troicki (SRB) – No.22
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) – No.28
Steve Johnson (USA) – No.32
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) – No.37
Hyeon Chung (KOR) – No.51
Jerzy Janowicz (POL) – No.57
Radek Stepanek (CZE) – No.57**
Sam Querrey (USA) – No.59
Sam Groth (Vic) ­– No.60
Denis Istomin (UZB) – No.61
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) – No.65
Denis Kudla (USA) – No.69
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) – No.71
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA) – No.78

Women – Includes world rankings

Simona Halep (ROU) – No.2
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) – No.3
Maria Sharapova (RUS)* – No.4
Angelique Kerber (GER) – No.10
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) – No.12
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) – No.13
Belinda Bencic (SUI) – No.14
Roberta Vinci (ITA) – No.15
Sara Errani (ITA) – No.20
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) – No.21
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)* – No.22
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) – No.23
Andrea Petkovic (GER) – No.24
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) – No.26
Sam Stosur (Qld)* – No.27
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – No.28
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) – No.29
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) – No.33
Camila Giorgi (ITA) – No.35
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) – No.38
Madison Brengle (USA) ­– No.40
Alize Cornet (FRA) – No.42

* Grand Slam champion
** Injury protected ranking
Wildcards and qualifiers TBC
All rankings as at 23 November 2015

Players will learn their fate at the official tournament draw at Queensland Tennis Centre on Friday 1 January, when first-round match-ups will be randomly determined.

With fewer than 40 days until play commences, preparations for the tournament are now in full swing. In 2016:

·       A total of 58 players will contest the men’s and women’s singles draws

·       At least 25 nations will be represented in the men’s and women’s singles, with wildcards and qualifying players yet to be added to the field

·       Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova will attempt to become just the third and fourth players in Brisbane International history to win back-to-back titles, with only Briton Andy Murray (2012-13) and the USA’s Serena Williams (2013-14) having achieved the feat so far

·       Federer and Sharapova will join gala celebration A Summer Night at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday 2 January

·       The world’s top tennis players will join Nickelodeon characters for Suncorp Kids Tennis Day on Sunday 3 January; entry is free for children aged 16 years and under

·       John McEnroe and Pat Cash will contest the inaugural FAST4 legends event before the women’s final on Saturday 9 January

·       A squad of more than 100 Suncorp ballkids will join the world’s best tennis players on court

·       More than 12,500 Wilson tennis balls will be used on match and practice courts

·       Stringers will restring more than 900 racquets – using more than 9km of string – throughout the event

·       More than 100 print, radio and broadcast media will provide detailed coverage of the event to media outlets around the globe

·       The tournament will be broadcast live around Australia and to more than 50 countries worldwide.

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.