Naomi Osaka joins Ashleigh Barty at Brisbane International

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Naomi Osaka joins Ashleigh Barty at Brisbane International

The 12th edition of the WTA Premier event in Brisbane will take place in the second week of January 2020, marking the beginning of the season together with the tournament in Adelaide. Since 2009, almost every big name from the WTA Tour had competed in Brisbane, with Victoria Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina all finding a place on the list of champions, with more Grand Slam winners as the beaten finalists at the Brisbane International.

The organizers are already working on the field for the next edition, announcing two Grand Slam champion who should lead the draw at the Queensland Tennis Centre, with the two-time Major winner Naomi Osaka joining the home favorite Ashleigh Barty in the battle for the title.

World no. 4 and the winner of the US Open in 2018 and the Australian Open in 2019 has been struggling to find the form after Melbourne, changing that last week in Osaka when she claimed the title in the hometown city after a dominant display in the final against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the season and also in 2020.

Back in 2016, Naomi had failed to qualify for the main draw in Brisbane, returning as world no. 5 this season and advancing into the semi-final where she lost to Lesia Tsurenko in straight sets after a pale performance. "I am really looking forward to returning to Brisbane.

I have great memories of my time in the city last year and it set me up for a brilliant summer with my first Australian Open title. Ash Barty and I have had a great year, swapping the world number one ranking several times, so it will be a tough start to the 2020 season.

I managed to pack in a lot off-court in Brisbane last visit, like cuddling a koala, patting kangaroos, holding a python. I even had a chance to ride some rollercoasters at a theme park. I can't wait to do some more sightseeing in January."

"The summer of tennis will get a warm welcome in sunny Queensland next year as Brisbane hosts the top women's players in the world," Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said. "Securing world No.4 Naomi Osaka in addition to homegrown hero and world No.1 Ash Barty is a great coup for the Brisbane International and demonstrates the strong reputation this tournament has developed over the years.

Queensland is a renowned major events host and this one is another ace for the state's tourism industry, which will benefit from the number of visitors making their way to Brisbane and surrounding regions to see these two champion players and many more start their 2020 season."