Melbourne VIC, Australia, 13 December 2017 | tennis.com.au
Queenslander and world No.128 John Millman is the latest Aussie to join the star-studded Brisbane International presented by Suncorp line-up after being awarded a wildcard into his home tournament.
Millman’s highlights in 2017 included a Davis Cup debut against Belgium in September, where he took current world No.7 David Goffin to four sets. He also made the third round of the US Open, his best result at Flushing Meadows.
“This is truly one of my favourite tournaments, there are few better places to play than Pat Rafter Arena,” Millman said at the Queensland Tennis Centre.
“There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be extremely challenging. The field’s incredible and I think that’s a testament to the tournament, everyone talks so highly of starting off the year here in Brisbane.”
This summer will be the sixth time Millman has played the Brisbane International, a tournament that has produced some of his best tennis. In 2013, he took top seed Andy Murray (GBR) to three sets in the second round. Two years later, Millman made global headlines after leading Roger Federer (SUI) a set and a break before falling in three.
“I’ve always loved the challenge, I’ve always loved playing the top guys and what better place to do it than here in front of a home crowd. This is the level you want to play at and the challenge you want to have,” Millman said.
Millman will join fellow Australian players Ash Barty (Qld), Sam Stosur (Qld) and Nick Kyrgios (ACT) in the main draw.
It’s a stellar men’s draw for the 10th edition of the tournament, with the field set to include world No.1 Rafael Nadal (ESP), Andy Murray (GBR), Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), Milos Raonic (CAN) and Kei Nishikori (JPN).
Brisbane International tickets are on sale now via Ticketek.
Australian Open wildcard for Azarenka
Tournament Director Craig Tiley confirmed on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to former champion Victoria Azarenka in order for her to compete at the event where she has achieved her greatest success.
“Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can,” Tiley said.
“As a two-time Australian Open champion we’ve awarded her a wildcard and look forward to seeing her back on court in Melbourne in January.”
Azarenka is looking forward to returning to Melbourne and the Australian Open where she has hoisted the trophy twice.
“I’m so excited about coming back to Melbourne for the Australian Open, it’s my favourite tournament,” Azarenka said.
“I’ve won there twice and always feel so comfortable on court and the city is great.
“It’s been a tough year and being able to come back to the AO will be a really positive way to start 2018. I’d like to thank Craig and his team for their understanding and support and can’t wait to see all my Aussie fans again.”
Australian Open tickets are on sale now via Ticketek.
Bouchard back at Hobart International
Canadian superstar and fan favourite Eugenie Bouchard has been awarded a wildcard into the Hobart International in 2018.
The former world No.5 stormed into the Hobart International final in her 2016 debut and is looking forward to being part of the tournament’s 25th celebrations in January.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Hobart in 2018 and am really appreciative of the tournament for giving me a wildcard,” Bouchard said.
“It will be great preparation for the Australian Open, hopefully I’ll get a lot of good court time just like I did when I made the final in 2016.
“Hobart is a beautiful city and the support I received in my last visit was amazing, so I’m looking forward to seeing all my Tasmanian fans again too.”
Bouchard, an Australian Open semifinalist and Wimbledon finalist in 2014, is currently ranked No.82 and scored two top 10 wins during the 2017 season.
Bouchard joins a stellar line-up for the 2018 event, which includes former champions Elise Mertens (BEL), Alize Cornet (FRA) and Mona Barthel (GER). Top 40 stars Shuai Zhang (CHN) and Sorana Cirstea (ROU) will also compete.
Hobart International tickets are on sale now via Ticketek.