Mertens Headlines Stellar Hobart International 2020 Field

HOBART, December 4, 2019 (Press Release)

Two-time champion Elise Mertens (BEL) will headline a strong field alongside 2016 title winner Alize Cornet (FRA) and former world No.4 Caroline Garcia (FRA) for the 27th edition of the Hobart International in 2020.

Mertens, who has an unbeaten record in Hobart, made tournament history in 2018 becoming the first back-to-back singles champion after successfully defending the title she claimed as a qualifier in 2017.

At No.17, the 24 year-old will be the highest-ranked player to enter the tournament since 2011 when No.16 Marion Bartoli was the top seed.

The 24 year-old also claimed the Hobart International doubles title in 2018 and has since made the semifinals at the Australian Open in 2018 and the quarterfinals at the 2019 US Open, finishing the past two seasons ranked inside the world’s top 20 in both singles and doubles.

Frenchwoman Cornet returns for her seventh appearance in Hobart in January, and will be joined by her Fed Cup winning team mates in Caroline Garcia (FRA) and Fiona Ferro (FRA).

Former world No.4 Garcia will return to Hobart for a second time after she was the tournament’s top seed in 2019.  The Frenchwoman partnered with Kristina Mladenovic to clinch the final doubles match against Australia to claim the Fed Cup Final in November.

Elena Rybakina (KAZ) is the second highest-ranked player in the field. The world No. 36 had a breakthrough season in 2019, claiming the Launceston International title when ranked at No.169 in February before going on to win her first WTA title at the Bucharest Open.

Former world No.2 and two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) will make her second visit to Hobart and first since 2004. The Russian player scored four top-10 wins in 2019, including defeating Ash Barty to reach Cincinnati final.

Australian tennis favourite and former world No.4 Sam Stosur accepted a wildcard spot for Hobart International 2020. Stosur is currently ranked No. 12 in doubles and enjoyed a strong 2019 campaign where she claimed the Australian Open doubles title with Shuai Zhang (CHN), who will also feature in 2020 and finished inside the world’s top 100 for a 16th consecutive year and representing Australia in the recent Fed Cup Final.

Fielding the likes of Kuznetsova and Stosur means this will be the first time in tournament history that two Grand Slam singles champions will be competing in the same year for the first time in tournament history.

“The quality of the Hobart International 2020 field is exciting for us and for the fans,” Hobart International Tournament Director Darren Sturgess said.

“We are thrilled to have former champions Elise Mertens and Alize Cornet returning in 2020 and to have some of the world’s best female athletes performing in Tasmania is something we’re very proud to showcase to the local community.

“Securing four top 40 players along with a host of players who have won Grand Slams in singles and doubles is a great result for the Hobart International and reinforces the event’s reputation as one that attracts both current and future stars of women’s tennis.”

The Hobart International will feature a range of fresh initiatives to enhance fan experiences in 2020.

The popular free family weekend will again feature over the opening two days of the tournament, with a host of engaging activities for all ages also on offer, including the chance to experience the latest on-court summer social tennis offering for adults.

Tickets for the Hobart International are on sale now via Ticketmaster.

Prices start from $20 for adults and entry is free for children with a paying adult across the entire event, including finals.

Hobart International 2020 full field

PLAYER

RANK

Elise Mertens (BEL)

No.17

Elena Rybakina (KAZ)

No.36

Shuai Zhang (CHN)

No.39

Veronika Kudermetova (RUS)

No.40

Magda Linette (POL))

No.43

Catherine Bellis (USA)

No.43 SR

Rebecca Peterson (SWE)

No.44

Caroline Garcia (FRA)

No.46

Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL)

No.47

Yafan Wang (CHN)

No.48

Viktoria Kuzmova (SVK)

No.52

Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)

No.54

Marie Bouzkova (CZE)

No.57

Alize Cornet (FRA)

No.59

Anna Blinkova (RUS)

No.61

Fiona Ferro (FRA)

No.62

Timara Zidansek (SLO)

No.63

Lauren Davis (USA)

No.64

Kristina Plyskova (CZE)

No.66

Kirsten Flipkens (BEL)

No.70

Lin Zhu (CHN)

No.71

[WC] Sam Stosur (AUS)

No.99

Hobart International 2020 by the numbers

·         Two former Hobart International singles champions: Elise Mertens (2017, 2018), Alize Cornet (2016)

·         Four current top 40 players: Elise Mertens (No.17), Elena Rybakina (No. 36), Shuai Zhang (No.39), Veronika Kudermetova (No. 40)

·         Eleven players who achieved career-high rankings in 2019: Elena Rybakina, Veronika Kudermetova, Magda Linette, Rebecca Peterson, Yafan Wang, Viktoria Kuzmova, Marie Bouzkova, Anna Blinkova, Fiona Ferro, Timara Zidansek, Lin Zhu

·         Two players made Grand Slam singles quarterfinals in 2019: Elise Mertens, US Open; Shuai Zhang, Wimbledon

·         Ten returning players from 2019: Shuai Zhang, Magda Linette, Caroline Garcia, Alison Van Uytvanck, Yafan Wang, Viktoria Kuzmova, Alize Cornet, Anna Blinkova, Kirsten Flipkens, Fiona Ferro