Two of the biggest names in women's tennis have confirmed they will join a world-class line-up including hometown favourite Ash Barty for the WTA Premier Brisbane International 2020.
The inclusion of world number 6 Petra Kvitova from the Czech Republic and world number 17 Angelique Kerber (pictured) of Germany will help make this the one of the strongest women's fields in the tournament's history, taking place from 6-12 January alongside the ATP Cup Brisbane group stage.
The pair will join the likes of world number one Barty as well as Japan's Naomi Osaka (#3).
Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova is eyeing off a second Brisbane International title, after securing her first back in 2011.
The 29-year-old is one to watch this summer after reaching the final of the Australian Open in January and finishing her seventh season in the Top 10.
"I've always enjoyed starting my season in Brisbane, and it's great to see so many other players do as well. It's going to be an incredibly strong tournament this year," says Kvitova.
"The conditions in Queensland are ideal when preparing for the Australian Open, and I look forward to giving myself the best chance of success in 2020 by coming to Brisbane."
Three-time Grand Slam champion Kerber will be returning to the Brisbane International for a sixth time.
The German player was the world's top ranked player in 2016, the same year she won the Australian Open.
"For me, Brisbane is one of the best ways to start the season," says Kerber.
"You have to play tournaments that will prepare you for the big moments, like the Australian Open, and with a line up this strong I know Brisbane is the right place to be in January.
"I've made the final in Brisbane before, and the atmosphere in Pat Rafter Arena is amazing. I'm very excited to be back."
Brisbane International tournament director Mark Handley says Kerber and Kvitova add an exciting layer of experience and depth to an already impressive field.
"We're thrilled that Petra and Angie have again chosen Brisbane as their season opener in 2020. With the world's top three women already secured, fans will experience the best match-ups this sport has to offer at the Queensland Tennis Centre," says Handley.
"Both these women add to an incredible line-up we have coming to Brisbane between the ATP Cup and Brisbane International in January.
"We're the only state where fans can watch men and women launch the summer of tennis, attracting the two current world No.1 players through to the next generation of superstars."
Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner says the addition of more world-class talent to the Brisbane International line-up will deliver a blockbuster start to the tennis season in Brisbane.
"I look forward to welcoming Petra Kvitova and Angelique Kerber back to the Brisbane International," says Schrinner.
"By hosting major events, including the Brisbane International and ATP Cup, we are creating more to see and do for residents and visitors, while generating a boost for our local tourism, hospitality and service industries."
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Photo credit: Getty Images
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