By Ros Satar
- The 2018 season kicks off with a packed field in Brisbane
- Of course the key thing for Britwatchers is that Brisbane heralds the return of two-time champion Andy Murray
- Johanna Konta also starts her 2018 campaign as she starts her new coaching partnership with Michael Joyce
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – At last the tennis season will be upon us, and even better there is plenty of British action to look forward to as the Brisbane International gets underway.
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No less than six grand slam champions will kick off the season proper at the Brisbane International, including the long-anticipated return of Andy Murray.
Also returning is defending champion, and newly crowned Nitto ATP World Tour Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov, along with the women’s defending champion Karolina Pliskova, she will be joined by fellow Top-Ten stars Elina Svitolina and Caroline Garcia.
From a British perspective, women’s British No. 1 Johanna Konta also starts her Australian campaign here, before she heads to Sydney to defend her title. The Australian Open has been a decent hunting ground for Konta these past two years, and with new coach Michael Joyce, it will be fascinating to see what this new collaboration brings.
It’s not just the old established names on show – hot on the heels of the success of the Next Gen ATP Finals, Hyeon Chung has chosen Brisbane as his starting point, and the ATP Star of Tomorrow award winner Denis Shapovalov makes his debut here.
Tournament Director Geoff Quinlan said: “Brisbane fans are in for an incredible tournament with the field we’ve secured this year. The line-up also includes World no.1 Rafael Nadal, two-time champion Andy Murray, both our defending champions from this year, Grigor Dimitrov and Karolina Pliskova, six of the top 12 women as well as Next Gen players who will be fired up and full of confidence at the start of the season.
“We are guaranteed outstanding tennis from round one, with fans also able to support our Aussies players lead by Ash (Barty), Nick (Kyrgios) and Sam (Stosur).”
The Brisbane International takes place between 31 December 2017 – 7 January 2018.
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