SYDNEY, October 3, 2018 (Press Release)
US Open champion Naomi Osaka has confirmed she will make her debut at the Sydney International in January.
Tickets for the Sydney International go on sale at 12.00 pm, Thursday 4 October, with Osaka joining a 30-player field that already boasts reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber.
Twenty-year-old sensation Osaka, who delighted fans with her swashbuckling run through the draw in New York, and seismic victory over Serena Williams in the final, said she is looking forward to competing in the Harbour City for the first time.
“I’ve seen photos of Sydney, it looks like an amazing city to visit and I’ve heard great things about the tournament from other players who have played there,” Osaka said.
“I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Sydney fans for the first time, and hopefully getting plenty of court time in at Olympic Park in the lead-in to the Australian Open.”
The first Japanese player in history to win a Grand Slam singles title, Osaka has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018, captivating fans with her spectacular play, and wry sense of humour off-court.
In March she won her maiden title in Indian Wells – recording wins over Maria Sharapova, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep en route – to become the desert tournament’s first unseeded champion since Kim Clijsters in 2005.
The versatile right-hander reached the semifinals on grass in Nottingham in June, secured a career-high No.7 ranking with a 6-2 6-4 win over Williams in New York, and was runner-up to Pliskova in Tokyo two weeks ago.
Sydney International Tournament Director Lawrence Robertson said he is looking forward to welcoming Osaka to Sydney.
“Naomi is the talk of the tennis world after her powerful and poised performance at the US Open,” Robertson said.
“She is one of the most exciting players – and intriguing personalities – competing right now, and we are delighted that Sydney fans will have the opportunity to enjoy her thrilling brand of tennis firsthand here at Olympic Park.
“After her breakthrough in New York, big things are being predicted for Naomi, and we look forward to seeing her continue to fulfill her enormous potential here at the Sydney International.”