Vukic, Hijikata join Aussie contingent at 2024 Brisbane International
Wildcard recipients Aleksandar Vukic and Rinky Hijikata are set to make their debut at the Brisbane International this week.
Aleksandar Vukic and Rinky Hijikata have been handed wildcards for Brisbane International 2024.
This boosts the number of Aussie competitors in the men’s singles main draw to five, with the rising stars joining Alexei Popyrin, Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson in an exciting line-up.
Vukic enjoyed a career-best season in 2023, soaring from outside the world’s top 200 to sensationally break into the top 50. The 27-year-old peaked at world No.48 after advancing to his first ATP singles final at Atlanta.
After his stellar season, the world No.62 is determined to continue that momentum in front of Australian fans in his tournament debut at Brisbane.
“There’s nothing like the Aussie support,” Vukic noted.
Hijikata, who recently completed his preseason training at the Queensland Tennis Centre, is also primed to contest the Brisbane International for the first time.
“I’ve never had the chance to play up here, but I’ve heard a lot of great things from all the players, especially the Aussies,” said the 23-year-old, who soared to career-high rankings of world No.70 in singles and world No.23 in doubles during a breakout 2023 season.
“I’ve heard the atmosphere is great, so I’m really looking forward to experiencing that myself.”
Gold Coast local Kimberly Birrell carries Aussie hopes in the women’s singles competition, alongside fellow wildcard recipients Arina Rodionova and Daria Saville.
Birrell and Rodionova achieved new career-high rankings during 2023, peaking at world No.100 and world No.112 respectively, while former world No.20 Saville is continuing her comeback from knee surgery.
Former world No.1s Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka have also received Brisbane International wildcards.
Nadal, a 22-time Grand Slam singles champion, has been sidelined since Australian Open 2023 due to a hip injury.
Meanwhile, Osaka is returning from maternity leave. The four-time major champion gave birth to her daughter, Shai, in July 2023.
|Brisbane International 2024
Main-draw singles wildcards
|Aleksandar Vukic (AUS)
|Arina Rodionova (AUS)
|Rinky Hijikata (AUS)
|Kimberly Birrell (AUS)
|Rafael Nadal (ESP)
|Daria Saville (AUS)
|Naomi Osaka (JPN)
The Brisbane International, presented by Evie, runs from 31 December to 7 January at the Queensland Tennis Centre. The qualifying competition begins on Friday 29 December.
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