Women's world number one tennis player Ash Barty will hit the courts at the Brisbane International in 2020.
The Ipswich-born world champ was announced as a Brisbane International contender at a special event in Brisbane this morning, with 70 young tennis players welcoming the world's best back home.
"Ash is a global superstar so having her compete in the Brisbane International is fantastic news for the event and it means tennis fans around Queensland and Australia have a chance to see her in action," says Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"She's not only an amazing tennis player and champion but she's a great Queenslander and role model.
Barty says it will be a special moment for her when she steps onto the Brisbane courts in January.
"I have always enjoyed amazing support in Brisbane and feel so incredibly lucky to play at home," says Barty.
"The Brisbane International always attracts an incredibly strong field because it's the perfect start to the season and great preparation for the Australian Open."
Brisbane International Tournament Director Mark Handley expects Barty will add an extra level of excitement to the event.
"This will be the first time Queensland fans will have the chance to see Ash play in her home state after her extraordinary achievements this year," says Handley.
"Queenslanders are rightly proud of Ash, how she holds herself on and off court and what she's been able to achieve is an inspiration for all Australians."
Barty won the French Open in Paris in June to become the first Australian to win the event since Margaret Court in 1973, and she is the first Australian woman in 43 years since Evonne Goolagong in 1976 to top the world rankings.
She is also the second Australian female player in history to top the world rankings.
The Brisbane International attracts tens of thousands of tennis fans and injects around $10 million into the Queensland economy every year.
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