Kelvin Grove State High School tennis players Nicola Schoeman, left and Ella Pittendreigh at the unveiling of murals for Sam Stosur and Ashleigh Barty.
Kelvin Grove State High School tennis players Nicola Schoeman, left and Ella Pittendreigh at the unveiling of murals for Sam Stosur and Ashleigh Barty.

Barty commits to Brisbane International

ASHLEIGH Barty will be up against former world No. 1 Naomi Osaka and Australian Open champion Karolina Pliskova at the Brisbane International in January.

Brisbane International tournament director Mark Handley, speaking at the unveiling of murals of both Barty and former USA open champion Sam Stosur, was delighted to see the trio commit to the tournament.

"It is a premier level event, it is a million tournament, the biggest event at that time in the world and it is in the perfect timeslot,'' Handley said.

"It is a couple of weeks before the grand slam (Australian Open) and over the years it has been the preferred warm-up tournament for the best players in the world.''

Pliskova told Tennis Queensland: "I am really looking forward to returning to Brisbane to defend my title. The conditions seem to work in my favour there and I have enjoyed great results.

"Winning the Brisbane title in 2019 set my season up and I am keen to lift the trophy for a third time in Queensland," Pliskova said.

The tournament will be another chance for Queenslanders to enjoy home town hero Ashleigh Barty whose remarkable 2019 has the Jim Joyce's junior from West Brisbane Tennis Centre rise, and stay, world No.1.

Karolina Pliskova in action. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)
Karolina Pliskova in action. (Photo by Zhe Ji/Getty Images)

Kelvin Grove State College tennis players attended Friday's unveiling of the mural.

Trent Steele, Tennis Excellence co-ordinator at the college, said his students met Barty earlier in the year and she was a fine example to them.

"She was so down to earth. They were blown away with how down to earth she was with all she has achieved.

"And when she came out to hit, the girls could not believe how well she was hitting them so quickly,'' Steele said.

Off the court, Handley said the Queensland Tennis Centre precinct would receive a makeover to make it more appealing for spectators.

"We are really looking forward to having a kid friendly site and expanding the site. It will be the place to be in the first couple of weeks in January,'' he said.

He said a Game Set Splash water park would be constructed, a treehouse refreshment area built and seating for Show Court 1 expanded.

There were also a variety of ticket deals available for the tournament, January 6-12.

The Barty and Stosur murals were done by graffiti artist Drapl.

Tickets for the Brisbane International are on sale through Ticketmaster

News Corp Australia

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