Brisbane International organisers today announced a massive recruiting coup with the signing of Australian Open 2008 champion and world No.3, Novak Djokovic from Serbia.
The new tournament could even produce a repeat of the Australian Open 2008 men’s final, having also secured the signature of runner-up, Frenchman Jo Wilfried Tsonga.
The pair joins former world number one and reigning French Open women’s champion Ana Ivanovic at what is shaping up as a star-studded inaugural event.
The brilliant Djokovic will use the event as a key preparatory element in his Grand Slam title defence.
“It is the perfect way to begin my Australian campaign. I have heard great things about Brisbane but never had the opportunity to visit,” Djokovic said.
“I am excited to be coming to a new event in a sensational new stadium. It is going to be great to renew my acquaintance with the very supporting Australian tennis fans.”
Tsonga will also be returning to Australia with high expectations after his sensational run to the final of this year’s Open.
“Naturally I have fond memories of the blue Australian courts and they tell me the Brisbane surface is exactly the same as the Open,” Tsonga said.
“There is already a lot of talk on the tour about this new event in Brisbane and this terrific new venue.
“I look forward to getting down there and trying to win the first event of the year,” he said.
Brisbane International Tournament Director Steve Ayles said it was no fluke the event would be showcasing two of the most watchable players on the tour.
“We really wanted these two. They ignite crowds all over the world. As well as being supremely gifted, they play the game with athleticism, flair and personality,” Ayles said.