Hobart, 16 December 2011 | tennis.com.au

A host of the world’s most exciting female players will headline the 19th Moorilla Hobart International in January.

Leading the field is former world No. 12 Yanina Wickmayer from Belgium. A Grand Slam semifinalist and finalist in Auckland earlier in the year, Wickmayer is looking forward to visiting Hobart to contest the title.

“I’m excited about competing in Hobart, it will be the perfect setting for me to get some quality matches leading into the Australian Open.

“Importantly I am looking forward to meeting the sporting fans of Tasmania and hopefully add my name to the long list of distinguished champions that have won the event,“ said Wickmayer.

Australia’s No.2 Jarmila Gajdosova is returning to defend her title and will be joined by wildcard Casey Dellacqua who’s strong comeback from injury has seen her complete a record-breaking 30 match winning streak on the Pro Tour since September.

Strong competition will come from 2011 finalist and one of the biggest personalities on the WTA Tour, the USA’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands, as well as former champions Anna Chakvetadze, 2007,  and China’s Jie Zheng, 2005.

Former world No. 16 and winner of 11 WTA singles and 18 doubles titles Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP), world No.30 Monica Niculescu (ROU), world No. 31Petra Cetkovska (CZE), US Open semi finalist and world No. 32 Angelique Kerber (GER) will also be looking to start the year with some good results in Hobart.

Rounding out the field are 2010 finalist and world No. 37 Shahar Peer (ISR), 2011 semi-finalist and world No. 41 Klara Zakopalova (CZE), Wimbledon semi finalist and world No. 46 Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL), Great Britain’s No.1 player Elena Baltacha and 2009 French Open quarterfinalist Sorana Cirstea (ROU).

Moorilla Hobart International Tournament Director Mark Handley is thrilled to welcome the strong field of international players to Tasmania.

“We have a terrific line up of depth and talent assembled for the 2012 event with many former champions and grand slam finalists amongst the playing group. The competition will be fierce and will provide a wonderful opportunity for sporting fans of Tasmania to witness the players apply the finishing touches to their games ahead of the Australian Open.

“The 2012 Moorilla Hobart International is set to be a dynamic spectacle of world class sport and we are looking forward to engaging every demographic of the Tasmanian community to deliver an event to remember,“ said Handley.

Moorilla Hobart International 2012 series packages and single sessions are on sale now with ticket prices starting from $9.90.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.ticketek.com.au or 1300 888 104. For further tournament information visit www.hobartinternational.com.au.