Hobart TAS, Australia, 1 December 2016 | hobartinternational.com.au

Former world No.1 Jelena Jankovic, defending champion Alize Cornet and world No.22 Kiki Bertens headline a strong field for Hobart International 2017.

Jankovic is one of eight players set to compete in Tasmania’s capital city for the first time this summer.

The 31-year-old Serbian, currently ranked No.54, is the third former world No.1 to compete at the Hobart International in the past decade, following appearances from Serena Williams in 2007 and Dinara Safina in 2011.

World No.22 Bertens is the highest-ranked player in the field. The 25-year-old Dutchwoman, a French Open semifinalist in 2016, is a former Hobart International doubles champion.

Frenchwoman Cornet returns to defend her 2016 singles title, aiming to become the first player to do so in the tournament’s 24-year history.

“Both (Bertens and Cornet) have had great success in Hobart in the past,” Tournament Director Mark Handley said.

“Kiki is coming off a career-best season, so we’re excited to welcome her back to Hobart and Alize played a sensational tournament to win in 2016. It’s great she is defending the title.”

The field also includes Czech Lucie Safarova and Italian Sara Errani, two former French Open finalists and top five players, as well as popular German Andrea Petkovic, another former top 10 player.

World No.2 doubles player Kristina Mladenovic and Latvian Anastasija Sevastova also loom as title contenders, as do rising stars Ana Konjuh, a US Open quarterfinalist in 2016, and Naomi Osaka, the WTA Newcomer of the Year for 2016.

“Hobart has consistently attracted some of the most talented and accomplished female athletes in the world and 2017’s instalment is no different,” Handley said.

“We pride ourselves on being the preferred platform for players to prepare for the Australian Open and we are thrilled to have seven proven top 20 performers and four who have had recent outstanding results at Grand Slam level in the 2017 field.

“We are also conscious that our event can be the catalyst for a year of sustained performance and 2016 was no different with both Dominika Cibulkova and Johanna Konta ending the year inside the world’s top 10. We are excited to find out who might emulate their predecessors in 2017.”

Belgian Kirsten Flipkens, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2013, is the last direct acceptance.

For more information and to get tickets, visit hobartinternational.com.au.