Tomic, Halep Headline at Apia International Sydney

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

Sudney International Tennis News

Australian No. 1 Bernard Tomic (Qld) and 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) will join two of the ATP’s biggest rising stars and five of the world’s top 10 women for a blockbuster week of tennis at Apia International Sydney from 10-16 January 2016.

A career-best year on tour which has seen Tomic finish 2015 as the top ranked Australian player has also secured him the event’s top seed, which will make the former champion and Sydney favorite the player to beat. He leads a trio of next generation stars in the men’s field, with 22-year-old world No. 20 Dominic Thiem (AUT) and 2014 ATP Star of Tomorrow Borna Coric (CRO) the future stars heading to Sydney.

Among the established veteran’s taking to Ken Rosewall Arena is defending champion and world No. 24 Viktor Troicki (SRB), perennial contender Andreas Seppi (ITA) and three-time Spanish Davis Cup champion Tommy Robredo.

In the women’s draw, world No. 2 Simona Halep (ROU) is joined by No. 5 and 2013 champion Agnieszka Radwanska (POL), defending champion and world No. 6 Petra Kvitova (CZE), No. 9 Lucie Safarova (CZE) and No. 10 Angelique Kerber (GER). Grand Slam champions Sam Stosur (Qld) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) will also hit the court in Sydney, while world No. 14 and one of only three women to beat Serena Williams in 2015, Belinda Bencic (SUI), will look to continue her fine form in the Harbour City. With a main draw cut-off of 32, it is one of the strongest women’s fields on the WTA Tour.

Tomic had his best year on tour in 2015, starting the year with a quarterfinal appearance in Sydney before advancing to the fourth round at the Australian Open, defending his title in Bogota and making the quarterfinals of the Shanghai Masters and Indian Wells, going down to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in both instances.

A champion in Sydney in 2013 and runner-up in 2014, Tomic said Sydney had quickly become one of his favorite stops on tour.

“Sydney is definitely one of my favorite tournaments of the year. It was where I won my first title and I always seem to play my best tennis there,” said the 23-year-old.

“The crowd is always fantastic and Ken Rosewall Arena has started to feel a bit like home court advantage for me now. I’m really looking forward to coming back in January and hopefully I can once again play some great tennis as I prepare for the Australian Open.”

Dimitrov, who has drawn repeated comparisons to Roger Federer thanks to his picture-perfect single-handed backhand and playing style, will play in Sydney for the first time since 2013. The current world No. 28 is looking to return to top form after a standout 2014 led him to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, semifinals of Wimbledon and fourth round of the US Open.

“I haven’t played in Sydney for a few years so I can’t wait to get back there,” said the 24-year-old.

“It’s always a very tough week with no easy matches, you’re playing some great players from the first round so it’s important to be focused and ready from the first match. I’ve been working hard over the off-season and I’m hoping a good tournament in Sydney will help me get back to my best tennis and kick start a great 2016 season.”

Thiem and Coric are both predicted to rise to within the world’s top 10 before too long, with Thiem the youngest player in the top 30 and Coric the youngest in the top 50. For both, it will be their first time at the Apia International Sydney.

“Last season was amazing for me, winning three titles, and I’m hoping to continue that success in 2016,” said No. 20 Thiem, who won in Gstaad, Umag and Nice.

“This will be the first time I’ve played an Australian Open lead up tournament in Australia so I’m really looking forward to coming to Sydney. Everyone says it’s an amazing city and Australian fans are some of the best in the world so I really just can’t wait to get on court.”

In only his second full year on tour, 19-year-old Coric defeated then world No. 3 Andy Murray to reach the semifinals in Dubai, while also making the semis in Nice and reaching the third round of the French Open.

“I’m really excited to be playing at the Apia International Sydney for the first time,” said Coric. “It always has a really competitive field so I’m hoping to play well there and get the best preparation for the Australian Open.

“I had a good year in 2015 and will take a lot of motivation into next season. I’m looking forward to coming to Sydney and getting my year off to the best start.”

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events and Minister for Sport, Stuart Ayres said the Apia International Sydney will be a must-see event for tennis fans.

“Once again the Apia International Sydney has attracted a world class field, and promises to attract thousands of fans to Sydney Olympic Park in January. I am pleased this tennis event has been secured for Sydney by the NSW Government, through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, and encourage all sports fans to book their tickets today.”

Tournament Director Alistair MacDonald said the high caliber of players heading to Sydney would ensure a stellar week of tennis.

“We’re very happy to be able to welcome our defending champions Viktor and Petra back to Sydney as well as a crowd favorite in Bernard. On top of this, we have one of the best women’s fields on tour once again and a proven performer in Grigor Dimitrov.

“When you add in players such as Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska, Dominic Thiem and Borna Coric it makes for an incredibly exciting and talented field.

“With live music, an increased entertainment schedule and the return of legends, this should be an absolute blockbuster week of tennis in Sydney.”

The official field for Apia International Sydney 2016 is:

Men – Includes world rankings

Bernard Tomic (Qld) – No. 18
Dominic Thiem (AUT) – No. 20
Viktor Troicki (SRB) – No. 22
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) – No. 28
Andreas Seppi (ITA) – No. 29
Jeremy Chardy (FRA) – No. 31
Leonardo Mayer (ARG) – No. 35
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR) – No. 36
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) – No. 37
Gilles Muller (LUX) – No. 38
Julien Benneteau (FRA)** – No. 39
Janko Tipsarevic (SRB)** – No. 39
Pablo Cuevas (URU) – No. 40
Tommy Robredo (ESP) – No. 42
Martin Klizan (SVK) – No. 43
Borna Coric (CRO) – No. 44
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) – No. 47
Teymuraz Gabashvili (RUS) – No. 50
Federico Delbonis (ARG) – No. 52

Women – Includes world rankings

Simona Halep (ROU) – No. 2
Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) – No. 5
Petra Kvitova (CZE)* – No. 6
Lucie Safarova (CZE) – No. 9
Angelique Kerber (GER) – No. 10
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) – No. 11
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) – No. 12
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) – No. 13
Belinda Bencic (SUI) – No. 14
Roberta Vinci (ITA) – No. 15
Madison Keys (USA) – No. 18
Elina Svitolina (UKR) – No. 19
Sara Errani (ITA) – No. 20
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) – No. 21
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) – No. 23
Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)* – No. 25
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) – No. 26
Sam Stosur (Qld)* – No. 27
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – No. 28
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) – No. 29
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) – No. 31
Sabine Lisicki (GER) – No. 32


* Grand Slam champion
** Protected Ranking
Wildcards and qualifiers TBC
All rankings as at 1 December 2015

Players will learn their fate at the official tournament draw at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre on Saturday 9 January, when first-round match-ups will be randomly determined.

Apia International Sydney 2016, proudly supported by Apia in association with Volkswagen and The NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, will take place at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from 10 to 16 January 2016.

The Apia International Sydney is part of the Emirates Australian Open Series which also includes the Hopman Cup (Perth), Brisbane International, Hobart International and the World Tennis Challenge (Adelaide).

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