World number one Simona Halep and US Open champion Naomi Osaka will spearhead a strong field in the women’s draw, at the Sydney International, the tournament organizers revealed on Monday. Eight of the world’s best 10 have signed up for the 6-12 January event as they utilize the conditions to warm up for the Australian Open Grand Slam in the following week. Simona halep will be playing the next year without a coach. This will be a bold an interesting move by Simona Halep, which will test her perseverance and maturity.
Also playing will be defending champion and Wimbledon winner Angelique Kerber, alongside Sloane Stephens, former grand slam champion Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, and the rising teen Daria Kasatkina. “I had a great week in Sydney. The draw was incredibly strong, and I was unseeded, so I had to play good tennis to get through some very tough matches” said Kerber. “Playing the Sydney International is always a great opportunity to face top quality opposition. Every single match is really tough, so it’s a great way to fine-tune my game after the off-season, and also get used the weather conditions in Australia, which are quite different to Europe at this time of the year”,she added.
This year’s finalist Ashleigh Barty, has also announced her inclusion. “Sydney is so exciting, it’s always such a strong field, especially on the women’s side. There are eight of the top 10 players in the world coming”, she said. “It’s going to be amazing for the fans, and what a challenge for us Aussies to test ourselves against the best straight off the bat coming into the start of the season. We are back into preseason. For me it’s an amazing year and I am really excited to start next year in Sydney”, she continued. “It was so exciting to make my first final at home. It was the first time I had played in Sydney and it was amazing. The crowd are unreal, to get that support straight away heading into the Australian Open is the most exciting thing that we can get”, said Barty.
Naomi Osaka, who will look to build on her breakthrough season, also had her say-“I have seen photos of Sydney. It looks like an amazing city to visit and I have heard great thing about the tournament from other players who have played there. I am looking forward to playing in front of the Sydney fans for the first time, and hopefully getting plenty of court time at SydneyOlympic Park in the lead-up to the Australian Open,” said Naomi Osaka.
“The Sydney International always attracts a top quality draw, so you know you are going to have to bring your A-game from the outset, no matter who you are playing. I really enjoyed playing earlier this year, and it was fun seeing some of the amazing sights around Sydney. I am looking forward to having a strong start to the season on the court, winning some matches ahead of Melbourne and perhaps squeezing in some more sightseeing before the action starts”,said Sloan Stephens.
The only two members of the top 10, who will not taking part are Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina. The men’s side will feature Britain’s 14th-ranked Kyle Edmund as the top seed, along with the likes of Gilles Simon, Alex de Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.