Brisbane, 1 August 2011 |

Wimbledon quarterfinalist and hometown hero, Bernard Tomic, confirmed today that he will start his tennis year in Queensland.

The World No.68 has enjoyed a quick post-Wimbledon break at home on the Gold Coast and said he was looking forward to starting his Australian summer campaign at the Brisbane International.

“January’s coming and that’s Australian Open and Brisbane International time,” Tomic said.

“You want to get here [Brisbane] before and prepare.

“I haven’t won a round yet in Brisbane, in the last three years, and if I can push and play well early in Brisbane… get some confidence before I lead into the Australian Open, I think it will be a really big benefit me for the 2012 Australian Open.”

“Brisbane is a great tournament for me, I love playing there. It’s my favourite place to play. Hopefully I can do well here, in Australia and in the future.”

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said he was looking forward to welcoming the Gold Coast teenager to Brisbane in 2012.

“It’s a real coup to have Australia’s latest rising star, Bernard Tomic, commit to the Brisbane International,” Pearson said.

“Bernard’s achievements last month at Wimbledon were nothing short of sensational. He became the youngest Grand Slam quarterfinalist since Boris Becker in 1986 and only the fifth qualifier to reach the last eight of a Grand Slam during the Open era.

“He managed to upset this year’s Brisbane International champion and world No.5 Robin Soderling, former No.3 Nicolay Davydenko, Xavier Malisse (No.41) and had eventual champion and world No.1 Novak Djokovic under enormous pressure in his quarterfinal loss.

“At the Australian Open Bernard held his own against Rafael Nadal after upsetting Feliciano Lopez (No.24) and Jeremy Chardy (No.58).

“Add to that he is a Queensland boy and Australia’s current No.1 men’s tennis player and he is the perfect first men’s announcement for the Brisbane International.

“I look forward to welcoming him in 2012 and have no doubt his home crowd will get behind him this coming January.”

Premier Anna  Bligh said today’s announcement that Bernard Tomic, from the Gold Coast, is playing at the next Brisbane International is great news for the tournament and closely follows the recent confirmation of top female talent Maria Sharapova.

“After launching his professional tennis career at the first Brisbane International in 2009, Bernard Tomic has done Queensland proud – most recently making the Wimbledon quarterfinals,” Ms Bligh said today.

“This event, supported by the Queensland Government through Events Queensland, is in its fourth year and 2012 is shaping up to be the most exciting yet.

“Having the world’s best talent right here in Brisbane’s backyard reinforces our status as a top sporting events destination – and this will be an event that can be enjoyed by local, interstate and international tennis fans alike.

“To have the best talent in the world playing at the Brisbane International just over a year after the floods impacted the tennis centre sends a strong message that we are back in business and in a big way.”

Sport Minister Phil Reeves said the 2012 Brisbane International is shaping up to be another stellar tournament.

“With Bernard taking to the court next year in his home state, tennis fans will certainly be in for another amazing tournament not only for the fans, but for the economy as well,” Mr Reeves said.

“Today’s announcement, coupled with our recent sporting success, reconfirms that Queensland is not only the Champions State, but the Events State.”

The Djokovic and Tomic contest at Wimbledon was billed as the most significant for Australian men’s tennis since Lleyton Hewitt’s 2005 Australian Open final against Marat Safin.

He was the first 18-year-old to reach the final eight at the event since 1990 when Goran Ivanisevic, his hero growing up, made it to the semi-finals.

The Gold Coast teenager is the seventh Australian to reach the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in the past 25 years joining Hewitt, Mark Philippoussis, Pat Rafter, Todd Woodbridge, John Stoltenberg and Pat Cash who all reached semifinals or better.

Tomic is currently ranked No. 68 in the world and is only one of two teenagers in the top 100. He flies out on Monday morning for the North American summer circuit, culminating with the US Open where he will play in the main draw for the first time as a top 100 player.

The Brisbane International commenced in 2009 with world-class talent including Djokovic, Andy Roddick, Soderling, Kim Clijsters, Ana Ivanovic and Justine Henin competing over the past three years.

Prize money for this combined ATP/WTA tour event will increase to USD$1.1million in 2012, a 63 per cent increase, then to USD$1.55 million in 2013.