World No.2 and Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova will play at the Apia International Sydney in January, tournament organisers announced today.
The 21 year old Czech becomes the third reigning Grand Slam title holder to join the star-studded field, alongside French Open champion Li Na and US Open champion Sam Stosur.
Kvitova, who also triumphed at the season-ending WTA Championships in October, said she was excited about making her debut at the Apia International Sydney.
“I’m really looking forward to playing there for the first time,” Kvitova said.
“I’ve never been to Sydney before and everyone tells me it is such a beautiful city so I can’t wait to get there and see the harbour and the stunning beaches.
“I have had some great results in Australia over the years winning in Hobart and Brisbane, so hopefully 2012 will be my year to win the title in Sydney.
“The Sydney event is really tough and most of the top girls play there each year so it is a great opportunity to get some good matches in before the Australian Open.
“I really see the event as the perfect preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year and I really want to win my first WTA Premier title of the season there.”
Tournament Director Craig Watson emphasised the strength of the women’s field at the Apia International Sydney, which is set to get underway on Sunday 8 January at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.
“We have had some outstanding line-ups in the women’s draw over the years and 2012 is shaping up to be one of the best ever,” Watson said.
“We are thrilled that Petra has confirmed her participation and to have three current Grand Slam champions in the field is a great endorsement of the Apia International Sydney.
“Petra has had an incredible season and her performance at Wimbledon, particularly in the final, was truly memorable.
“I can’t wait to see her in action for the first time in Ken Rosewall Arena in January and I’m sure tennis fans from all over New South Wales feel the same way.
In 2012 Kvitova won six titles – Brisbane, Paris, Madrid, Wimbledon, Linz and the WTA Championships in Istanbul.
The hard-hitting left hander reached a career-high ranking on No.2 on October 31 this year, after her title in Istanbul.
Kvitova joins Stosur, Li, along with world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki and Serbian star Ana Ivanovic in the Apia International Sydney women’s field.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt and 2010 champion Marcos Baghdatis are confirmed men’s starters, with another marquee male player set to be confirmed this week.
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.