Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Australian favourites Daria Gavrilova and Jordan Thompson are among the wildcard recipients for the Sydney International.
Three times a semi-finalist in Sydney, and the champion in 2015, Kvitova will contest her sixth Sydney International.
The winner of a tour-leading five titles in 2018, the world No.7 is hoping for a good run in Sydney which will boost her Australian Open preparations.
“I’m really looking forward to being back in Sydney this year,” said Kvitova. “It’s one of my favourite stops on the calendar and I love the conditions there.
“Hopefully I can make a great start to the year and get in some important matches ahead of the Australian Open.”
A semi-finalist last year, Gavrilova said she would be striving to exceed her 2018 performance.
“I always love coming back to Sydney,” said Gavrilova. “There are so many top 10 players in the draw which makes it one of the toughest tournaments of the year and a great way to start the season.
“I love playing at home in Australia and really appreciate all the crowd support. It’s incredibly motivating so I hope I can play well and get lots of wins and go deep at the Sydney International.”
Thompson recorded the second-most wins in ATP Challenger Tour history in 2018, winning three of the eight Challenger finals he contested, in Chennai, Traralgon and Canberra.
The 24-year-old Sydneysider has twice reached the second round at Sydney Olympic Park, in 2016 and 2017, and said he was looking forward to tackling the main draw for a fourth time.
“It’s a real privilege to be awarded a wildcard for the Sydney International, and I’d like to thank Tennis Australia for the opportunity” said Thompson.
Gavrilova and Kvitova will be joined in the women’s main draw by Queensland’s Sam Stosur and Alja Tomljanovic.
The US Open champion in 2011 and runner-up at the French Open in 2010, Stosur is currently ranked No.74 in the world after working her way back from a long-term wrist injury.
Tomljanovic, meanwhile, will be looking to build on a break-out 2018 season that saw her reach finals at Rabat and Soul, the semi-finals at Indian Wells, and attain a career high ranking of No.43 in the world.
Alexei Popyrin will join Thompson in the men’s main draw. A qualifier in Sydney in 2018, Popyrin started the season ranked No.613, achieving a career-high ranking 25 times over the course of the season, peaking at No.148 in November.
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