2018 Brisbane International Pre-Tournament Preview: Muguruza, Pliskova headline field

The 2017 season is offically in the books, and the 2018 season is just one month away! As a new WTA season starts, the Brisbane International is a common tournament that most of the WTA stars head to. First, a preview of the Brisbane International next year with Garbine Muguruza and Karolina Pliskova headlining the field…

Garbine Muguruza leads chasing pack in Brisbane.

World No.2 Garbine Muguruza is the headline act in Brisbane as she looks to bring her successes from 2017 into the 2018 season. Muguruza had a super successful 2017 which saw her claim her second Grand Slam title in Wimbledon and hold the No.1 ranking for a couple of weeks. However, inconsistencies and injuries were also a part of her 2017 and she will look to get her 2018 to a perfect start in Brisbane, where she has traditionally started off her seasons at. Her best performance in Brisbane was last year, where she retired hurt to Alize Cornet in the semifinals.

Defending finalists Pliskova, Cornet return to Queensland.

Talking about Cornet, Alize also had her best performance in Brisbane last year, where she blasted past Elena Vesnina, Dominika Cibulkova and Muguruza to reach the final, falling short to an inspired Karolina Pliskova in arguably her best performances in 2017. Cornet will look to build on her successes in Australia, where she also won the title in Hobart before.

Defending champion Pliskova also had one of her best weeks of the year in Brisbane and she will need to kick off her season well, where she is defending tons of points in her next few tournaments like in the Australian Open, Doha, Indian Wells and Miami. Pliskova was one of the star performers of 2017 and there is no doubt that she has a [high possibility of claiming her maiden Grand Slam title] next year. Let’s see how she will perform in 2018 in Brisbane…

Top 10ners Svitolina, Garcia and Konta also in the mix.

Just like 2017 where she had her most successful season as of yet, Elina Svitolina will start her 2018 season in Brisbane. Svitolina was one of the most improved and consistent players on the tour this season, amassing a 53-14 win-loss record and winning five WTA titles. A step that she has not been able to make as of yet is reach a Grand Slam semifinal, and she will look to achieve that with her Australian Open preparations starting at this tournament.

Other top 10 players, Caroline Garcia and Johanna Konta are also coming to the Brisbane International next year. Garcia had an excellent fall swing which saw her break into the top 10 and win titles in Wuhan and Beijing, and also a semifinal appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore. While for Konta, she had a disappointing end to her season, ending it on a five-match losing streak and failing to qualify for the WTA Finals by one spot once again. Officially closing her season with injury, Konta will look to bounce back next year with a deep run. She is also rumored to be working with Michael Joyce next year, which is Victoria Azarenka’s former coach.

Well, other than tennis, she’s been focusing on something else as well during the off-season…

Home favourite Barty looking to make it big in 2018, along with Stosur.

Winner of the 2017 Newcombe Medal Ashleigh Barty has also been announced in the Brisbane field and rightly so, Brisbane is where her amazing 2017 season begun, having won a set against then-World No.1 Angelique Kerber. Since then she has been on fire, winning her first WTA title in Kuala Lumpur, and her other best results a final in Wuhan and even made the cut to the Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. She will look to make Australian tennis even bigger in 2018, and with Samantha Stosur as well, who returned from a hand injury in the fall.

Depth of field grows deep with Mladenovic, US Open champion Stephens, and many more.

Note: Sloane Stephens has withdrawn from the tournament due to knee issues.

Alongside Muguruza and Stosur, Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova are the other Grand Slam champions in this field. Kristina Mladenovic, Anastasija Sevastova, Elena Vesnina, Madison Keys and Magdalena Rybarikova are the other top 20 stars that could cause some upsets in this high-quality tournament. Other players to look out for are Daria Kasatkina, Anett Kontaveit and Carla Suarez Navarro.


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