|Past champions, Nick Kyrgios (AUS), Andy Murray (GBR) and Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) will play at the Brisbane International in 2019.
The trio have confirmed they’ll join world No.1 Rafael Nadal (ESP), Kei Nishikori (JPN), John Millman (AUS) and the US Open women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka (JPN) to open the Australian summer of tennis in Brisbane.
Tickets to the Brisbane International go on sale today via Ticketek.
Kyrgios will defend his title in 2019 after claiming his first ATP Tour title on Australian soil in January when he defeated Ryan Harrison (USA) 6-4, 6-2 at Pat Rafter Arena.
Currently ranked 27 in the world, Kyrgios believes the Brisbane International offers him the best start to the 2019 season.
“The memories of that event are so enjoyable. I did a little training block in Brisbane before Brisbane started, so it felt like home, and the tournament worked out so well as preparation for the Australian Open,” Kyrgios said.
“Obviously winning it helped, but I played some really good matches there and the crowd was unbelievable and it’s something that I’m really looking forward to.
“The noise in that arena is very loud. It’s an unbelievable vibe. I really love playing in front of the crowd in Brisbane.”
The former world No.1 and two-time Brisbane International champion Murray also cites enthusiastic Queensland fans as one of the reasons he’s looking forward to returning to the Sunshine State to start the year.
Murray cut short his 2018 season in order to be fully fit for the Brisbane tournament starting on December 30.
“I always enjoy going back there. It’s the first tournament of the year and the Aussies are always great fun to be around,” Murray said.
“They support the events extremely well and all of the players are always on good form and pumped because it’s the start of the new season. It’s a very intimate tournament as well, the fans can get really close to the players on the practice courts and they get great crowds from the beginning of the tournament.”
Dimitrov, the 2017 champion, has made Brisbane his habitual start to the Australian tennis season since reaching the final in 2013. Dimitrov said his past successes at Pat Rafter Arena makes him feel at home there.
“It’s such a refreshing start every year to begin my tournaments out there,” Dimitrov said.
“I’m very very excited to just play there. I think the crowd is amazing. The court is so nice. I mean, you have a little bit of the off season, then all of a sudden you come back to basically a full house every time you play. Hopefully I’m able to deliver again and again every time.”
Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said confirmation of three past champions in the men’s draw alongside Nadal, Millman and Nishikori in 2019 represents one of the strongest fields in the history of the event.
“Fans coming to the Brisbane International in 2019 are guaranteed exciting and competitive tennis,” Pearson said.
“We are so excited to have Nick return to defend his title in Brisbane as he provided so many fantastic moments on his way to the title in January.
“Andy has honoured his word that he would return to Brisbane and has already begun focussing on the tournament and being back to peak fitness in time for the Australian summer and Grigor has become such a regular feature deep into the tournament that we know we can again expect some thrilling tennis from him.
“Brisbane is a firm favourite of the world’s best players because of the great crowds that come every year and the excellent facilities we provide for the players to kick start their seasons. I would encourage fans to book their tickets early as we know demand is going to be high once again. ”