Defending champion Milos Raonic (CAN), Kei Nishikori (JPN) and Dominic Thiem (AUT) round out five of the world’s top ten players to sign on for the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp in 2017.
The trio completes the strongest men’s field in the tournament’s history with Spanish ace Rafael Nadal (ESP) and 2016 US Open champion Stan Wawrinka (SUI) both heading to Brisbane for the first time this summer.
For Raonic, returning to Brisbane for a fourth time is an easy decision.
“I can’t wait to return to Brisbane in January. I played some of my best tennis to beat Roger in the final last time, and enjoyed playing in front of such a great crowd who clearly love their tennis,” he said.
“I’ve made the previous two finals, and the challenge for me is to make it three in a row against a quality field of players all looking to start the season well.
“For me it’s so important to get off to a strong start at the beginning of the season. Playing Brisbane is the best way to build momentum heading into the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.”
Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori is also returning to the tournament.
“The people are very nice, very warm and I always love to play on Pat Rafter Arena. It’s a great tournament and I love to come back,” Nishikori said.
While for Austria’s Dominic Thiem, the tournament is the perfect lead in to the Australian Open.
“It’s like a mini Australian Open, really nice summer feeling and all the people are happy,” Thiem said.
“The first tournament of the year is always special because you haven’t played a match for a month and a half. Last year I had a good start, I beat three very good players and had the honour of playing Roger Federer for the first time in my life, so that was a very special moment for me,” added the 23-year-old.
World No.1 Angelique Kerber (GER) and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza (ESP) have also signed up on the women’s side of the draw.
“We’re honoured to add defending champion Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem to our field and have five of the top ten players here in Brisbane during the first week of January. These players along with Rafa and Stan means the quality of the field is stronger than ever,” Tournament Director Geoff Quinlan said.
“We are really excited with the line-up for 2017 and are confident that tennis fans will relish the opportunity to see the world’s best players in action.
“Pat Rafter Arena will come to life with the calibre of players that are coming. The power and passion of the top players brings great energy to centre court and we know the fans will be cheering them on to create an unbelievable atmosphere,” he added.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events Kate Jones said the 2017 Brisbane International player line-up set an exciting new benchmark for the marquee Queensland event.
“This is the strongest line-up we have seen for the Brisbane tournament and a great drawcard for visitors to come to Queensland, take in world class tennis and enjoy our incredible array of experiences,” Ms Jones said.
“We look forward to welcoming the players and spectators and encouraging them to get out and enjoy Queensland while they are here.”
Brisbane International 2017, presented by Suncorp and supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, will be held at Queensland Tennis Centre from 1 to 8 January. The tournament is part of the Emirates Australian Open Series, which also incorporates Hopman Cup (Perth), Apia International Sydney, Hobart International and World Tennis Challenge (Adelaide).