“Receiving the Newcombe Medal for the third time is a great honour and it provides great motivation heading into the next few weeks of training as I prepare to face a tough field of top 10 players in Sydney.”Sam Stosur
The brightest stars of world tennis are headed to Sydney in January with Apia International Sydney tournament organisers today announcing nine top 10 players are set to compete for the prestigious titles.
The outstanding line-up for the January 6-12 event includes seven top 10 women, two top 10 men and three previous Sydney champions.
Leading the women’s field is world No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska along with three Grand Slam Champions in world No.7 Li Na, No.8 Petra Kvitova and Australia’s Samantha Stosur, ranked No.9.
Stosur, the 2012 Newcombe Medal winner, is the first Australian woman since Wendy Turnbull to finish in the world top 10 three years running.
“Receiving the Newcombe Medal for the third time is a great honour and it provides great motivation heading into the next few weeks of training as I prepare to face a tough field of top 10 players in Sydney,” Stosur said.
German world No.5 Angelique Kerber, French Open finalist and No.6 Sara Errani and 10th-ranked Caroline Wozniacki complete the impressive line-up of women’s top 10 players.
Also confirmed in the women’s draw are Serbian Jelena Jankovic, Russian pair Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko, ucie Safarova – part of the winning Czech Fed Cup team of 2012 – and German Julia Goerges.
The world-class women’s line-up has a cut-off ranking of No.31 and is comprised of player’s from 13 nations.
The men’s draw boasts two top 10 stars in Frenchmen Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet, ranked eighth and 10th respectively.
The cut-off for the men’s draw is inside the world’s top 50 and includes big-serving American John Isner (No.14), popular Spaniard Fernando Verdasco (No.24) and new Australian No. 1 and world No.49 Marinko Matosevic.
“I am excited and proud to be a direct entry into the Sydney event in January,” Matosevic said.
“The tournament always attracts a really strong field and this time is no different with players like Tsonga and Gasquet competing in Sydney. I’m looking forward to competing well there and trying to get as many matches under my belt before the Australian Open.”
Matosevic, a 2012 Newcombe Medal finalist, moved from outside the world’s top 200 to a position in the top 50 in 2012 and was voted the ATP’s Most Improved Player of the Year by the men’s playing group.
He reached his first ATP World Tour singles final this year at Delray Beach, going down to South African Kevin Anderson, also a confirmed starter for Sydney in 2013.
Adding to the French flavour of the field are 2011 champion and world No.16 Gilles Simon, Jeremy Chardy and 2012 finalist Julien Benneteau.
Reigning champion Jarkko Nieminin, crowd favourite Feliciano Lopez and Czech Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek are also signed on to challenge for the 2013 title.
Apia International Sydney tournament Craig Watson said the event has attracted one of its best ever fields.
“We are bringing together an incredible group of players to compete in Sydney next month,” Watson said.
“We are thrilled to have nine top 10 players, Australia’s No.1 male and female and Grand Slam champions in the outstanding field.
“The 2013 tournament will offer fans a great opportunity to come and witness so many of the world’s best tennis players in action right here in Sydney.”