Just two top-40 players will compete in the Hobart International that will take place from 7th to 13th January 2019. The tournament will not feature the 2017 and 2018 champion Elise Mertens who has chosen to play in Sydney.
The world no. 24 Mihaela Buzarnescu and the world no. 40 Shuai Zhang will lead the field. Hobart will mark the beginning of the new season for the 44th ranked Belinda Bencic who will play with Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup in Perth for the third year in a row.
The Tournament Director Darren Sturgess said: 'We have an exciting mix of experienced players and upcoming stars confirmed to compete in our 26th edition in January. We’re thrilled to welcome back former world No.11 Alize Cornet, who is a fan favourite here in Hobart, and Mihaela Buzarnescu, who earnt a lot of respect with her run to our 2018 final.
Belinda Bencic is a former top 10 player rebuilding her ranking following injuries and is one of many young promising players in the field. The Hobart International has a proud history of unearthing future stars, as reigning champion Elise Mertens demonstrated in her top 20 rise this year.
Naomi Osaka won the US Open after starting her season in Hobart, and 2018 quarterfinalist Aryna Sabalenka is now verging on a top 10 debut. Looking at our 2019 entry list, I would not be surprised to see some similar breakthroughs begin here again.
We are really excited about hosting another fantastic tournament in January and I encourage all Tasmanians to buy a ticket to come along to our family-friendly event to see these world-class athletes in action.'