World number one, Simona Halep will headline a strong field at the Sydney International, alongside US Open champion, Naomi Osaka, and Wimbledon champion, Angelique Kerber, who’s also the defending champion, the organizers disclosed on Monday.
The Sydney International which serves as a warm-up event for the Australian Open, will kick off on 6 January — 12 January, and already has eight of the top 10 players in the women’s field signed in to play.
Halep, who lifted the French Open title this year, will begin her 2019 season without a coach, as she earlier revealed. After her French Open triumph in June, the Romanian made back-to-back finals at the Canadian Open and Cincinnati Masters, winning the former, but hasn’t won a competitive match since then, notably falling in the first round of the US Open to an unseeded player. Despite injury forcing her to draw the curtain on her season in October, Halep finished the year as No.1 and hopes she can put together a good start to the 2019 season.
“I have to take it like it is: look back and take the positives from this year,” the 27-year-old said. “I’m number one in the world, so it means a lot to me and gives me confidence to go ahead.”
2017 US Open champion, Sloane Stephens, two-time Grand Slam winner, Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, and Daria Kasatkina make up the star-studded field down under.
However, Carolina Wozniacki, who revealed her struggles with rheumatoid arthritis in October, and this year’s WTA Finals champion, Elina Svitolina are the two members of the WTA Top-10 who will take no part in the event.
In the men’s field, Britain’s 14th-ranked Kyle Edmund leads the pack as the top seed, along with the likes of Gilles Simon, Alex de Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Sydney International is an outdoor hard court event and will take place at the NSW Tennis Centre in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.