Brisbane QLD, Australia, 25 November 2015 |

Seven Grand Slam champions will headline Brisbane International 2016 presented by Suncorp in a field that features both legends of the sport and top rising stars.

Grand Slam champions Roger Federer (SUI), Marin Cilic (CRO), Maria Sharapova (RUS), Sam Stosur (Qld) and Victoria Azarenka (BLR) will all commence their 2016 campaigns in Brisbane this summer, alongside fellow Grand Slam title-holders and tennis legends John McEnroe (USA) and Pat Cash (Vic).

They will be joined by some of the sport’s most exciting young stars including David Goffin (BEL), Queensland’s own Bernard Tomic, Dominic Thiem (AUT), Korean teenager Hyeon Chung, Aussie wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA), 2015 Wimbledon finalist and world No.3 Garbine Muguruza (ESP) and Swiss prodigy Belinda Bencic.

Eight of the world’s top 20 men and nine of the top 20 women will feature at the event, setting the stage for a blockbuster week of on-court action.

Seventeen-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will lead the star-studded men’s draw alongside Kei Nishikori (JPN), 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, Brisbane International 2015 finalist Milos Raonic (CAN) and Grigor Dimitrov (BUL).

Aussie trio Tomic, Kokkinakis and Sam Groth (Vic) – who on Monday night took out Australia’s top tennis award, the Newcombe Medal, and will enter the 2016 season on the verge of the world’s top 50 – will start as local favourites for the Roy Emerson Trophy when play gets under way at Queensland Tennis Centre on Sunday 3 January.

In the women’s draw five-time Grand Slam title-holder and defending Brisbane International champion Maria Sharapova heads a world class line-up with world No.2 Simona Halep (ROU), Muguruza, world No.10 Angelique Kerber (GER) and Brisbane International 2009 champion Azarenka.

Also set to battle it out for the Evonne Goolagong Trophy are top 20 players Timea Bacsinszky (SUI), Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP), 2015 US Open finalist Roberta Vinci (ITA) and Sara Errani (ITA).

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said fans could look forward to a massive eight days of tennis in January.

“We’re really excited by the strength of both the men’s and women’s draws and counting down to what should be a fantastic week of tennis,” he said.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our two defending champions back to Brisbane, who will both have a real fight on their hands to win back-to-back titles. Every year the tournament increases in profile and the calibre of the 2016 field is certainly testament to the players’ regard for the event.

“This summer we’ll also welcome two legends of the sport, John McEnroe and Pat Cash, to contest the inaugural FAST4 legends showdown on women’s final day, just one of the exciting initiatives in store.

“With just under 40 days to go until play starts at Queensland Tennis Centre tickets are in hot demand, and I encourage all fans to book their seats early and join in the excitement of the event.”

Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said an exceptional line-up of talent bound for next year’s Brisbane International cemented the event as Queensland’s premier tennis tournament.

“With both defending champions in Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova back in Brisbane alongside another five Grand Slam champions, it’s easy to see why around 100,000 fans flock to this event each year,” Minister Jones said.

“This is a signature event on the It’s Live! in Queensland calendar, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, and I’m excited to see the world’s best players take to Pat Rafter Arena in 2016.”

The official field

Roger Federer (SUI)* – No.3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) – No.8
Marin Cilic (CRO)* – No.13
Milos Raonic (CAN) – No.14
Gilles Simon (FRA) – No.15
David Goffin (BEL) – No.16
Bernard Tomic (Qld) – No.18
Dominic Thiem (AUT) – No.20
Viktor Troicki (SRB) – No.22
Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) – No.28
Steve Johnson (USA) – No.32
Thomaz Bellucci (BRA) – No.37
Hyeon Chung (KOR) – No.51
Jerzy Janowicz (POL) – No.57
Radek Stepanek (CZE) – No.57**
Sam Querrey (USA) – No.59
Sam Groth (Vic) ­– No.60
Denis Istomin (UZB) – No.61
Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) – No.65
Denis Kudla (USA) – No.69
Nicolas Mahut (FRA) – No.71
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA) – No.78

Simona Halep (ROU) – No.2
Garbine Muguruza (ESP) – No.3
Maria Sharapova (RUS)* – No.4
Angelique Kerber (GER) – No.10
Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) – No.12
Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP) – No.13
Belinda Bencic (SUI) – No.14
Roberta Vinci (ITA) – No.15
Sara Errani (ITA) – No.20
Jelena Jankovic (SRB) – No.21
Victoria Azarenka (BLR)* – No.22
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) – No.23
Andrea Petkovic (GER) – No.24
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (SVK) – No.26
Sam Stosur (Qld)* – No.27
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) – No.28
Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) – No.29
Lesia Tsurenko (UKR) – No.33
Camila Giorgi (ITA) – No.35
Dominika Cibulkova (SVK) – No.38
Madison Brengle (USA) ­– No.40
Alize Cornet (FRA) – No.42

*denotes Grand Slam champion
**denotes injury-protected ranking

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