News & Media

Stars of Brisbane International back for more

24 December 2023, by Dan Imhoff

The Brisbane International Honour Roll is stacked with Grand Slam legends and former world No.1s, and in 2024 one of the tour’s favourite stops welcomes four of its former champions and a past finalist back.

Here’s how the returning winners and runners-up have fared in 2023 and a look back at their best runs at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

Grigor Dimitrov

The hugely popular Bulgarian enjoyed a late-season resurgence in 2023 to more than halve his ranking to world No.14 in a year.

The 32-year-old struck a purple patch of form once the tour headed to China as he followed up a semifinal in Chengdu with an upset of Holger Rune to reach the Beijing quarterfinals before he went on to stun world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz in a semifinal run at the Shanghai Masters.

Victories overDaniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the final at the Paris Masters – his first at that level since 2017 – took his top-10 wins to seven for the year before Novak Djokovic halted his dream run.

The former world No.3 has enjoyed prolonged success on Pat Rafter Arena.

In 2013 on debut,  he reached the final before he fell to Andy Murray. Five years later he saw off Dominic Thiem, Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori in succession to secure the silverware.

Dimitrov has reached the quarterfinals on his past five trips to Brisbane, including two further semifinal outings.

Karolina Pliskova

Czech former world No .1 Pliskova declared Brisbane her “favourite tournament” after she narrowly denied Naomi Osaka and Madison Keys in succession to defend a title for the first time in 2020.

The only player to have triumphed three times on Pat Rafter Arena, Pliskova also needed three sets to hold off surprise finalist Lesia Tsurenko in 2019 and comfortable dismissed Alize Cornet for the 2017 trophy.

The 31-year-old started off 2023 by reaching her fourth Australian Open quarterfinal but a left wrist injury ultimately led to ending her season in October.

It meant Pliskova missed out on a top-10 finish for the first time in seven years.

Andy Murray

After denying 12th seed Matteo Berrettini in the opening round at Melbourne Park in 2023, three-time major winner Murray needed five hours and 45 minutes to move past Thanasi Kokkinakis in the longest match of his career.

While unable to add ATP trophy to his haul in 2023, he reached the final at Doha and added three Challenger titles to end the season at world No.42.

A two-time champion in Brisbane, Murray returns for the fourth time in 2024.

In 2012, Murray defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov for his 22nd title before he reached the Australian Open semifinals.

A year later, he went back-to-back in the Queensland capital at Dimitrov’s expense before he made a third Melbourne Park final.

Victoria Azarenka

Inaugural women’s champion Azarenka has a strong affinity for Australia, having won her maiden tour title on Pat Rafter Arena in 2009 and her two majors at Melbourne Park in 2012 and 2013.

The former world No.1 wound back the clock with another run to the Australian Open semifinals in 2023, her deepest run at the season’s opening Slam in a decade, where she held off a trio of Americans, former champion Sofia Kenin, 10th seed Madison Keys and third seed Jessica Pegula en route.

Azarenka swept past future Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli in the 2009 final and seven years later, added a second Brisbane trophy to her tally when she breezed past year-end world No.1 Angelique Kerber.

She was also a finalist in 2014 when she fell short of stopping Serena Williams’ title defence.

Madison Keys

American Keys made a return to the top 10 for the first time in more than four years in January after she went unbeaten in five matches as part of the triumphant United Cup USA team.

She scooped her seventh career title against Daria Kasatkina at Eastbourne and followed up with her second Wimbledon quarterfinal.

Top-10 victories over Pegula and Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova helped the 28-year-old to her first US Open semifinal in five years.

Keys denied former Grand Slam winners Sam Stosur and Petra Kvitova on her way to the 2020 Brisbane final, where she fell to Pliskova.

Tickets for the Brisbane International are now on sale through Ticketmaster.