WTA Tour

Osaka, Stephens to play at Brisbane International

Naomi Osaka (AP)
Naomi Osaka (AP)

Cape Town - US Open champion Naomi Osaka of Japan and world No 8 Sloane Stephens have confirmed their participation at the season-opening Brisbane International event.

The pair will be joined by the likes of two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova as well as 2011 US Open champion and home favourite Samantha Stosur at the event schedules from 31 December to 6 January 2019.

In an interview carried by the WTA website, Stosur said she was looking forward to playing in front of family and friends in Brisbane.

"I always love starting my season at the Brisbane," said Stosur. "Pat Rafter Arena is so intimate that I can clearly hear everyone cheering for me, it's great."

Osaka said she was excited by starting the 2019 WTA season off in Brisbane, ahead of the Australian Open.

"I'm excited about starting my 2019 Australian season in Brisbane. I have been there before and have great memories of the city and playing there," said Osaka.

"Since winning the US Open, I've had lots of messages of support from Australia so it will be special to play at Pat Rafter Arena in January."

The action begins at the Queensland Tennis Centre on December 30, 2018, and concludes a week later on January 6, 2019.

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