Venus Williams joins star-studded line-up for Brisbane International

Written on the 26 November 2019 by Business News Australia

Venus Williams joins star-studded line-up for Brisbane International

At least five of the world's top 10 tennis players will be competing for the first international tennis trophy of 2020. 

An already stellar line-up for the Brisbane International just got stronger after it was announced former world number one Venus Williams will make her river city debut at the tennis tournament taking place from 6-12 January.

The news follows confirmation the world's top three female players Ash Barty (Australia), Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic) and Naomi Osaka (Japan) will play in the WTA Premier Brisbane International 2020, which will take place alongside the ATP Cup Brisbane group stage.

It had also previously been confirmed that the Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova (7) and Germany's Angelique Kerber (20) will participate in the tournament as well.

The Ukraine's Elina Svitolina (7) was also confirmed for the Brisbane International today, which means five of the world's top 10 tennis stars will be there. 

Locals Sam Stosur and Alja Tomljanovic will also play in the tournament, as well as another US star - world number 25 and former Grand Slam champion Sloane Stephens.

Queensland Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones says the Brisbane International will have one of the most diverse and exciting line-ups in its history.

"If you're a tennis fan, Brisbane will be the place to be in January," she says.

"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 will flock to support our world number one and local hero Ash Barty and all the Aussies in the field."

Barty was the first to guarantee her place in the draw, alongside defending champion and world number two Karolina Pliskova plus Australian Open champion and would number three Osaka.

Jones says the Palaszczuk Government had more than doubled the value of Queensland's major events calendar over the last five years.

"We back events because they support local jobs and bring tourists to Queensland," she says.

"This event will pump millions of dollars into our economy."

Brisbane International tournament director Mark Handley says tennis fans will be spoilt for choice when they visit 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 says. 

"Players arrive here at the start of the season fresh from a well-earned rest and we are looking forward to showcasing the best of women's tennis with the best match-ups at the Queensland Tennis Centre."

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says the all-star line-up will see residents and visitors descend on the Brisbane International.

"Brisbane's serving up another blockbuster tournament next year, with some of the world's leading tennis stars hitting our tarmac for the 2020 Brisbane International," he says.

"All the players will receive a typical warm Brisbane welcome and we can't wait to see this event in full swing.

"Brisbane is proud to host the Brisbane International for another year and showcase our city's appeal as a leading events destination.

"Major events inject more than $150 million into our local economy annually, while delivering important flow-on benefits to our tourism, hospitality, retail and service sectors."

Photo: Ken Maynard, via Flickr Creative Commons

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