The Apia International Sydney today unveiled one of its best ever player fields with nine of the top 10 women set to take part in the January 8 to 14 event at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
The outstanding line up for the internationally-renowned tournament includes eight Grand Slam champions, four current or former world No.1’s and four previous Sydney winners.
Leading the women’s field is world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki along with three reigning Grand Slam title holders in Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova (No. 2), French Open winner Li Na (No. 5) and Australia’s own US Open champion Samantha Stosur (No. 6).
Belarusian Victoria Azarenka (No. 3), two-time Grand Slam finalist Vera Zvonareva (No. 7), Agnieszka Radwanska (No.8), Marion Bartoli (No. 9) and Andrea Petkovic (No. 10) complete the impressive line-up of women players.
Also confirmed in the women’s draw is two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, German pair Sabine Lisicki and Julia Georges, 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone and Serbian duo Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, both former world No. 1’s.
In the men’s draw, 2009 US Open champion and former world No. 4 Juan Martin Del Potro will be joined by four-time champion and Apia International Sydney Ambassador Lleyton Hewitt as well as popular 2010 winner Marcos Baghdatis.
American marathon man John Isner, the current world No. 18, will make his debut at the event and will join last year’s finalist, Viktor Troicki of Serbia.
Other familiar names returning to the Apia International Sydney in 2012 are former finalist Richard Gasquet of France, Spanish Davis Cup winner Feliciano Lopez and 2008 champion Dmitry Tursunov of Russia.
The cut-off ranking for the women’s draw is just No. 23, whilst the men’s draw cut-off is No. 54.
Apia International Sydney Tournament Director Craig Watson said that the star power in both the men’s and women’s draw would deliver a spectacular week of world class tennis.
“To have such a stunning line-up of Grand Slam champions, former world No. 1’s and fan favourites taking part in the event is a very exciting prospect,” Watson said.
“The women’s event has again attracted the world’s best and with last year’s women’s finalists going on to play in the Australian Open final, the Apia International Sydney is the perfect preparation for the season’s first Grand Slam.
“The men’s draw too is highlighted with stars and Grand Slam champions, with Del Potro and Hewitt leading the way, along with crowd pleasers like Baghdatis and Isner.
Watson confirmed that former world No. 1 Hewitt had been awarded a wildcard into the event, before adding that the remaining wildcards would go to Australians or marquee players.
“There are a number of Aussie players in the running for Apia International Sydney wildcards,” Watson commented.
“Fans could see Jelena Dokic and Matt Ebden in action, along with junior Wimbledon champions Luke Saville and Ashleigh Barty, who won the Australian Open wildcard play-off over the weekend.
“We will announce our wildcard recipients over the next few weeks and whilst they are likely to go to Australians, there is always the opportunity to award a marquee player a wildcard should they be looking for some additional matches before the Australian Open.”
Tickets to the Apia International Sydney 2012 are on sale through Ticketek and can be purchased online at www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 888 104.
The Apia International Sydney will be held at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre from Sunday 8 to Saturday 14 January 2012.
Official Apia International Sydney line-up (women)
Caroline Wozniacki DEN No.1
Petra Kvitova CZE No. 2
Victoria Azarenka BLR No. 3
Li Na CHN No. 5
Samantha Stosur AUS No. 6
Vera Zvonareva RUS No. 7
Agnieszka Radwanska POL No. 8
Marion Bartoli FRA No. 9
Andrea Petkovic GER No. 10
Francesca Schiavone ITA No. 11
Jelena Jankovic SRB No. 14
Sabine Lisicki GER No. 15
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova RUS No. 16
Shuai Peng CHN No. 17
Dominika Cibulkova SVK No. 18
Svetlana Kuznetsova RUS No. 19
Flavia Pennetta ITA No. 20
Julia Georges GER No. 21
Ana Ivanovic SRB No. 22
Roberta Vinci ITA No. 23
Official Apia International Sydney line-up (men)
Juan Martin Del Potro ARG No. 11
John Isner USA No. 18
Richard Gasquet FRA No. 19
Feliciano Lopez ESP No. 20
Viktor Troicki SRB No. 21
Florian Mayer GER No. 23
Marcel Granollers ESP No. 27
Radek Stepanek CZE No. 28
Alex Bogomolov Jr. RUS No. 34
Ivan Dodig CRO No. 36
Andreas Seppi ITA No. 38
Dmitry Tursunov RUS No. 40
Marcos Baghdatis CYP No. 44
Robin Haase NED No. 45
Pablo Andujar ESP No. 46
Fabio Fognini ITA No. 48
Xavier Malisse BEL No. 49
Julien Benneteau FRA No. 52
Gilles Muller LUX No. 54
Lleyton Hewitt AUS Wildcard