Buzarnescu To Headline Hobart International 2019

HOBART, November 28, 2018 (Press Release)

World No.24 and 2018 finalist Mihaela Buzarnescu will headline an outstanding Hobart International 2019 field.

The Romanian, who made her debut in Hobart earlier in the year is one of six former top 20-ranked players confirmed to compete in January.

Buzarnescu will join Swiss star and former world No.7 Belinda Bencic who is set to make her tournament debut. Bencic has played in Hobart before, when she was the world’s top-ranked junior and took on mentor Martina Hingis in a special exhibition match during the 2014 tournament.

China’s Zhang Shuai, the tournament’s top seed in 2018 and a former Australian Open quarterfinalist, is returning alongside Hobart International 2016 champion Alize Cornet and four-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist and former world No.13 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The field will also include two Wimbledon semifinalists – Magdalena Rybarikova, who reached the final four at Wimbledon in 2017 and achieved a career-high ranking of No.17 earlier this season, and Kirsten Flipkens.

Reigning Australian Open doubles champion Timea Babos, who rose to world No.1 in doubles in 2018, will challenge for the Angie Cunningham Trophy alongside Americans Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske.

Tasmanian fans will also get to see some of the game’s brightest young players in action.

Greece’s Maria Sakkari, who achieved a career-high ranking of No.29 in 2018, is one to watch. The 23-year-old who scored wins over Naomi Osaka, Ash Barty and Venus Williams this year will join young-gun Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska in the 2019 line-up.

Hobart International Tournament Director Darren Sturgess believes Tasmanian tennis fans are in for a treat this summer.

“We have an exciting mix of experienced players and upcoming stars confirmed to compete in our 26th edition in January,” Sturgess said.

“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,” Sturgess continued. 

“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.”

Hobart International 2019 will take place at the Domain Tennis Centre from 5-12 January 2019.

A ‘Family Weekend’ was also revealed today, making the event more family friendly than ever before. Kids will continue to go free for the whole tournament, with all fans set to go free on Saturday 5 – Sunday 6 January before main draw gets underway on Monday 7 January.

Fans who purchase their Hobart International tickets in November enter the draw to win the tournaments biggest-ever fan prize, a ‘live like a player’experience. The prize includes finals tickets, accommodation in the official player hotel, pre-match dining in the player restaurant, official tournament transport to and from the venue, as well as the chance to attend the singles champions’ official trophy photo shoot. Tickets are available now through Ticketek.

Hobart International 2019 field

Player

Rank

Mihaela Buzarnescu (ROU)

No.24

Zhang Shuai (CHN)

No.40

Maria Sakkari (GRE)

No.41

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS)

No.42

Belinda Bencic (SUI)

No.44

Alize Cornet (FRA)

No.47

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)

No.48

Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK)

No.49

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL)

No.50

Sofia Kenin (USA)

No.52

Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK)

No.54

Pauline Parmentier (FRA)

No.56

Dayana Yastremska (UKR)

No.58

Timea Babos (HUN)

No.59

Ons Jabeur (TUN)

No.60

Alison Riske (USA)

No.62

Rebecca Peterson (SWE)

No.63

Vera Lapko (BLR)

No.65

Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU)

No.67

Wang Yafan (CHN)

No.70

Johanna Larsson (SWE)

No.75

Hobart International 2019 by the numbers 

·        One former Hobart International singles champions: Alize Cornet (2016)

·        Nine current top 50 players: Mihaela Buzarnescu (No.24), Zhang Shuai (No.40), Maria Sakkari (No.41), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (No.42), Belinda Bencic (No.44), Alize Cornet (No.47), Kirsten Flipkens (No.48), Magdalena Rybarikova (No.49), Alison Van Uytvanck (No.50)

·        Six former top 20 players: Belinda Bencic (career-high No.7 in 2016), Alize Cornet (career-high No.11 in 2009), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (career-high No.13 in 2011), Kirsten Flipkens (No.13 in 2013), Magdalena Rybarikova (career-high No.17 in 2018), Mihaela Buzarnescu (career-high No.20 in 2018)

·        Six players who have reached Grand Slam quarterfinals: Zhang Shuai (Australian Open 2016), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (French Open 2011, US Open 2011, Wimbledon 2016, Australian Open 2017), Belinda Bencic (US Open 2014), Kirsten Flipkens (Wimbledon 2013), Magdalena Rybarikova (Wimbledon 2017), Alison Van Uytvanck (French Open 2015)

·        Eleven players who achieved career-high rankings in 2018: Magdalena Rybarikova (No.17 in March), Mihaela Buzarnescu (No.20 in August), Maria Sakkari (No.29 in September), Alison Van Uytvanck (No.37 in August), Sofia Kenin (No.48 in October), Rebecca Peterson (No.52 in October), Viktoria Kuzmova (No.54 in July), Dayana Yastremska (No.58 in November), Ons Jabeur (No.60 in November), Vera Lapko (No.60 in October), Wang Yafan (No.70 in November)

·        Seven players who won WTA titles in 2018: Mihaela Buzarnescu (San Jose), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Strasbourg), Alize Cornet (Gstaad), Alison Van Uytvanck (Budapest), Pauline Parmentier (Istanbul, Quebec City), Dayana Yastremska (Hong Kong), Timea Babos (Taipei City)

·        Eight players making Hobart debut: Belinda Bencic, Sofia Kenin, Viktoria Kuzmova, Dayana Yastremska, Rebecca Peterson, Ons Jabeur, Vera Lapko, Wang Yafan