Melbourne, Australia, 27 January 2012 |

The Australian Pro Tour will kickstart its new season with the McDonald’s Burnie International taking place at Burnie Tennis Club in Tasmania from 28 January to 4 February.

With $75,000 worth of prize money up for grabs, the port town welcomes its strongest field in nine years with eleven players in the men’s and women’s competition having just competed in the main draw of Australian Open 2012.

James Duckworth (Gordon, NSW) will be one to watch after he had an incredible 2011 season with his world ranking rising close to 500 places to No. 250. Last week he reached the second round of his first Australian Open having pushed world No.9 Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia to four sets.

Fellow Australians, 2005 winner Chris Guccione (Greenvale, Vic), world No.198 Greg Jones(Manly, NSW), Australian Open 2012 wildcard play-off winner Marinko Matosevic (Dandenong, Vic), Ben Mitchell (Worongary, Qld), Matt Reid (Dural, NSW) and James Lemke (Camberwell, Vic) will also be attending.

International players including world No.60 Denis Istomin from Uzbekistan, world No.79 Yen-Hsun Lu and Tsung-Hua Yang from Taipei, Tatsuma Ito and Yuichi Sugita from Japan and Danai Udomchoke from Thailand will join the strong Australian contingent.

The women’s event will see our top Australians in action including Olivia Rogowska (St Kilda, Vic), Isabella Holland (St Lucia, Qld), Bojana Bobusic (South Perth, WA), Monique Adamczak(NSW) and Sally Peers (Glen Waverley, Vic).

World No.3 junior Eugenie Bouchard from Canada, who is currently competing at the Australian Open Junior Championships, is also expected to play. Bouchard, who won the tournament last year as a qualifier, will be looking to capitalise on her hot form demonstrated this week.

Yurika Sema from Japan, Yulia Putintseva (RUS), Cagla Buyukakcay (TUR) and Great Britain’sEmily Webley-Smith will also contest the ITF event.

“We have one of our strongest fields competing at Burnie in 2012,” Tournament Director Mark Handley said.

“To have some of the top Australian and international talent in Burnie will make for a great and tough competition.

“The event will not only give young players the platform to perform and improve their game but also compete against some proven tour performers and we hope the whole town will come down and support them.”

Burnie International Committee Chairman Anthony Johnstone is also excited to welcome the strongest field the tournament has had to town.

“We have the strongest men’s and women’s draws ever and Bernard Tomic’s performance at Burnie over the last three years provides the best example of the success this tournament has provided for the players,” said Johnstone.