Top-ranked women confirmed for Sydney Intl

The Sydney International will boast the strongest women’s draw for a 32-player field in a WTA tournament in the past 12 months.

Six of the world’s top 10-ranked women will compete, including a fifth-straight appearance by German world No.1 Angelique Kerber as she prepares her Australian Open title defence in January.

Barring wildcards and qualifiers, the lowest-ranked woman to enter the tournament directly is Romanian world No.29 Irina-Camelia Begu.

Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, ranked ninth in the world, will return to defend her title on Ken Rosewall Arena, with No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Slovakian No.5 Dominika Cibulkova to compete.

They will feature along with Australian stars Daria Gavrilova and Sam Stosur, both ranked in the top 25.

Hot-tempered Serbian Viktor Troicki, a two-time champion, will return to defend his men’s title, with Austrian world No.8 Dominic Thiem the highest ranked man.

The tournament begins on January 8.

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