Halep, Osaka to play in Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT -

World num­ber one Si­mona Halep and US Open cham­pion Naomi Osaka will head­line a strong field in the women’s draw of the Syd­ney In­ter­na­tional, or­gan­is­ers said yes­ter­day.

Eight of the world’s top 10 have signed on for the Jan­uary 6-12 event as they use it to warm up for the Aus­tralian Open Grand Slam the fol­low­ing week. Also play­ing will be de­fend­ing cham­pion and Wim­ble­don win­ner An­gelique Ker­ber, Sloane Stephens, Pe­tra Kvi­tova, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, and Daria Kasatk­ina.

The only two mem­bers of the top 10 not tak­ing part are Caro­line Woz­ni­acki and Elina Svi­tolina. The men’s side is weaker with Bri­tain’s 14th-ranked Kyle Ed­mund the top seed, along with the likes of Gilles Si­mon, Alex de Min­aur, Lu­cas Pouille and Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga.

Tal­ented Amer­i­can Frances Ti­afoe will join fel­low break­through sen­sa­tions Ste­fanos Tsit­si­pas and Ed­mund.

Ti­afoe has es­tab­lished him­self as one of the most ex­cit­ing ris­ing stars in men’s ten­nis in 2018, be­com­ing the youngest Amer­i­can to win an ATP World Tour ti­tle (since Andy Rod­dick in 2002) when he claimed the ATP 250 ti­tle at the Del­ray Beach Open in Fe­bru­ary. “I’m de­lighted that so many of the world’s most tal­ented play­ers have cho­sen to come to Syd­ney in Jan­uary,” said tour­na­ment di­rec­tor Lawrence Robert­son.

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