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Tennis: Nishikori joins Federer, Cilic in star-studded Brisbane opener

Kei Nishikori will start his 2015 season at the Brisbane International, where Roger Federer will head a strong men’s line-up also featuring Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Del Potro. Photo: AFP.

Kei Nishikori will start his 2015 season at the Brisbane International, where Roger Federer will head a strong men’s line-up also featuring Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Del Potro. Photo: AFP.

November 26, 2014: After his best-ever season, Kei Nishikori will begin his 2015 campaign as second seed behind Roger Federer at the Brisbane International, which will be held at Queensland Tennis Centre from January 4-11.

 

Nishikori, 24, has risen to No. 5 – the highest-ever ranking for a Asian male player – after a season in which he reached his first Grand Slam final, at the US Open, and won four ATP titles.

 

Five of the world’s top 11 men – as well as 2009 US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro with an injury-protected ranking of No. 7 – and four of the top 10 women will feature in Brisbane. World No. 2 Federer will lead the men’s draw alongside Nishikori, Milos Raonic (No. 8), US Open champion Marin Cilic (No. 9) and Grigor Dimitrov (No. 11).

 

Federer, 33, is also among eight Grand Slam champions in the men’s and women’s competitions, the highest number in the event’s six-year history.

 

Federer, who has won 17 Grand Slam singles titles, is joined by fellow major winners Del Potro (2009 US Open), Cilic (2014 US Open) and former No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt (2001 US Open, 2002 Wimbledon), who beat Federer in last year’s final. Del Potro, who has an injury-protected ranking of No. 7, will make his return from injury.

 

In the women’s field, five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, the current World No. 2, will head a field featuring Ana Ivanovic (2008 French Open), Sam Stosur (2011 US Open) and Victoria Azarenka, Australian Open champion in 2012 and 2013.

 

World No. 2 Sharapova tops the seeds ahead of fellow top 10 players Ivanovic (No. 5), Angelique Kerber (No. 9) and Dominika Cibulkova (No. 10). Eight of the top 20 will feature, with Andrea Petkovic (No. 13), Jelena Jankovic (No. 15), Carla Suarez Navarro (No. 17) and Garbine Muguruza (No. 20) all confirmed to compete.

 

Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said the fields for both the men’s and women’s events were among the strongest ever.

 

“We’re thrilled with the calibre of the fields we have assembled for this summer’s event. The tournament continues to grow each year and 2015 is shaping up as one of our best yet. It’s fantastic to welcome Roger Federer back to Brisbane as well as our men’s defending champion Lleyton Hewitt, newly crowned Grand Slam champion Marin Cilic and crowd favourites Grigor Dimitrov and Bernard Tomic,” Pearson said

 

“Each year the event attracts many of the world’s top women and 2015 will be no exception, with Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic, Sam Stosur, Victoria Azarenka and many more big names set to compete. To have eight Grand Slam champions, five of the world’s top 11 men and four of the top 10 women commit to Brisbane is a fantastic result and highlights the players’ regard for the tournament.”

 

Brisbane International 2015 is supported by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland, and is part of the Emirates Australian Open Series with the Hopman Cup (Perth), Apia International Sydney, Hobart International and World Tennis Challenge (Adelaide).

 

The official fields for Brisbane International 2015 presented by Suncorp are:

 

Men

[2] Roger Federer (SUI)*

[5] Kei Nishikori (JPN)

[7] Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)* - Injury-protected ranking             

[8] Milos Raonic (CAN)

[9] Marin Cilic (CRO)*

[11] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL)

[16] Kevin Anderson (RSA)

[21] Gilles Simon (FRA)

[23] Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR)

[25] Julien Benneteau (FRA)

[27] Jurgen Melzer (AUT) – Injury-protected ranking

[29] Jeremy Chardy (FRA)

[34] Martin Klizan (SVK)

[35] Sam Querrey (USA)

[37] Steve Johnson (USA)

[50] Lleyton Hewitt (SA)*

[56] Bernard Tomic (Qld)

[57] Donald Young (USA)

[70] Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ)

[72] Carlos Berlocq (ARG)

[73] Jarkko Nieminen (FIN)

 

Women

[2] Maria Sharapova (RUS)*

[5] Ana Ivanovic (SRB)*

[9] Angelique Kerber (GER)

[10] Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)

[13] Andrea Petkovic (GER)

[15] Jelena Jankovic (SRB)

[17] Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)

[20] Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

[22] Sam Stosur (Qld)*

[23] Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

[26] Sabine Lisicki (GER)

[28] Elina Svitolina (UKR)

[30] Madison Keys (USA)

[31] Victoria Azarenka (BLR)*

[34] Camila Giorgi (ITA)

[35] Varvara Lepchenko (USA)

[37] Caroline Garcia (FRA)

[38] Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL)

[43] Alison Riske (USA)

[50] Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

[51] Kaia Kanepi (EST)

[52] Christina McHale (USA)

* Denotes Grand Slam champion
; all rankings as at November 24, 2014

 

For more information, visit: www.brisbaneinternational.com.au

 


Source: Tennis Australia (www.tennis.com.au); Editing by SportAsia

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