Venus Williams takes Brisbane wild card to join stellar field

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Venus Williams takes Brisbane wild card to join stellar field

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 Shenzhen and Auckland. Since 2009, almost every big name from the WTA Tour has 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 have been working hard on securing the strongest possible field for the next edition, with six of the current top-10 stars heading to Brisbane to open the season, including Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Naomi Osaka, Elina Svitolina, Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens.

The American veteran Venus Williams has grabbed a wild card to join the stellar field, making her debut in Brisbane and kicking off another season on the Tour. Since 19997, Venus didn't finish in the top-100 only in 2011, playing on a high level between 2014-17 before losing ground a little bit in the last two years.

Despite that, the veteran is ready to embrace another season, currently standing as the second-oldest player on the WTA list behind Greta Arn, ranked outside the top-400. Between 1998-2016, Venus claimed 49 WTA titles from 83 finals, lifting five Wimbledon crowns from nine finals and conquering 23 Majors overall in all three categories.

"After so many years on tour, it is good to play at new tournaments and experience a different city. Brisbane International is always spoken of so highly among the WTA players and so I wanted to see it for myself," Venus said.

"I know it will be warm in January and that is exactly the conditions I need to get used to as I prepare for the Australian Open." "To be able to add Venus, Sam, Elina and Ajla to an already blockbuster field says a lot about the Brisbane International and the city as a destination to visit.

Players arrive here at the start of the season fresh from a well-earned rest and we are looking forward to showcasing the best of women's tennis with the best match-ups at the Queensland Tennis Centre," Brisbane International Tournament Director Mark Handley said.