Hobart, 19 November 2010 | tennis.com.au

Former world No.1 and 2009 Australian Open runner-up Dinara Safina of Russia is set to headline the Moorilla Hobart International next January.

Currently ranked No.63 in the world, Safina is one of the highest profile players to compete at the tournament and will hope to reclaim the form that saw her become the world’s No.1 female player in April last year.

Safina enjoyed her most successful season in 2009, with her powerful baseline game and serve leading her to the finals of the Australian Open against Serena Williams (USA) and French Open against Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia.

She also reached the fourth round of this year’s Australian Open before retiring hurt against fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko due to a lower back injury. The same injury kept her out of action from February to April and forced her to withdraw from Wimbledon in June.

Moorilla Hobart International Tournament Director Michael Roberts was excited to welcome Safina as she prepares for the upcoming Australian Open.

“Dinara is a great addition to the line-up and a player of her calibre will certainly be in contention to take out the Moorilla Hobart International.

“This time last year she was ranked No.2 in the world, so hopefully she can regain her place in the top 10 and make her mark in the coming year.”

Safina’s achievements also include a Grand Slam tournament victory in women’s doubles at the US Open in 2008, a silver medal in women’s singles at the Beijing Olympics, and recognition as the first female player in history to defeat three reigning No.1 players in the same season.