Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber to play Sydney

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Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber to play Sydney

World number one Simona Halep, Angelique Kerber and US Open champion Naomi Osaka will headline a strong field in the women's draw of the Sydney International, organisers of one of the first tournaments of the year recently revealed.

Also playing at the event are Sloane Stephens, Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova, Kiki Bertens, and Daria Kasatkina. With these three players signing up for the event, 8 of the Top-10 players on the WTA Tour are set to play this event.

Commencing from 6th Jan, these players will use this tournament as a warm up event for the first Grand Slam of the year – Australian Open. Only Caroline Wozniacki and Elina Svitolina are not playing this event. "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.

The men's side is relatively weaker with Britain's Kyle Edmund the top seed, along with the likes of Gilles Simon, Alex de Minaur, Lucas Pouille and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Simona Halep started her 2018 season in Shenzhen, where she will not play this year.

Also in the line up is Ash Barty, who would not be seeded at the event but is pumped up for the tournament. She commences her 2019 campaign at the Hopman Cup. "It's a pretty amazing field," she said. "It's going to be one of those draws that, from the first round, it could be a quarter-final match." ALSO READ Ferrer on French Open final vs Rafael Nadal: 'I would have loved to win'