World No.1 Ana Ivanovic will headline the 2009 Brisbane International. The young Serbian star and reigning French Open champion said she was excited to be part of the newest tennis event in the world.
“This is a great new event on the calendar in a lovely part of the world,” Ivanovic said.
“I am expecting a high quality field, some excellent weather and a great venue. It will be the perfect launching pad for my preparation for the Australian Open.”
A delighted Brisbane International Tournament Director Steve Ayles announced the coup today.
“Ana’s appearance is the ultimate endorsement for the event and the city,” Ayles said.
“We plan to put on one of the best events in world tennis and now we can showcase the talent of the No.1 ranked female on the planet. She is a terrific player and a terrific person and I am sure she will love Brisbane as much as Brisbane will love her.”
Ivanovic broke through for her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros this year after making the final of the Australian Open in January, as well as last year’s Roland Garros final and Wimbledon semifinal.
At just five, inspired by Monica Seles on television, she begged her parents to take her to the local tennis school in Belgrade. She developed her game practicing in an empty Belgrade swimming pool, stepping onto the circuit five years ago and taking the No.1 mantle in June.
The world No.1 now adorns a postage stamp in Serbia and had Serbian president Boris Tadic as a guest at her 20th birthday.
“She was one of the darlings of the Australian Open crowds in January and we imagine Brisbane will quickly appreciate her demeanor, athleticism, power and particularly lethal forehand,” Ayles said.