Maria Sharapova, Grigor Dimitrov line-up for Brisbane
French Open champion Maria Sharapova is set to take part in the Brisbane International as a tune-up for January`s Australian Open, along with Grigor Dimitrov, Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur.
Sydney: French Open champion Maria Sharapova is set to take part in the Brisbane International as a tune-up for January`s Australian Open, along with Grigor Dimitrov, Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur.
Sharapova, the world number four and five-time Grand Slam winner, will kick off 2015 at the competition in Queensland from January 4 to 11, organisers said Wednesday.
"Brisbane is such a great tournament, I`ve tried to make it so many years and I finally made it in 2014 and it was such a great experience," said the Russian star, who bowed out to Serena Williams in the semi-finals.
Australia`s defending champion Hewitt will return to the competition in a bid to win back-to-back titles after his victory over Roger Federer in the 2014 final.
"I really enjoy starting my year in Brisbane, it`s such a great tournament that traditionally has a strong line-up of players," Hewitt, 33, said.
Bulgaria`s Dimitrov, currently world number 10, US Open champion Marin Cilic, runner-up Kei Nishikori and 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer are also in the men`s draw.
Australia`s Stosur, who hails from Brisbane, said she was looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd at the tournament.
Next season`s opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open, takes place in Melbourne from January 19 to February 1.