Rising star Lizette Cabrera (QLD) and Fed Cup representatives Arina Rodionova (VIC) and Destanee Aiava (VIC) will lead the women’s field at the Apis Canberra International.
Rising star Lizette Cabrera (QLD) and Fed Cup representatives Arina Rodionova (VIC) and Destanee Aiava (VIC) will lead the women’s field at the Apis Canberra International. The three women have had outstanding seasons in 2017, peaking at career high rankings.
The field includes 12 of Australia’s top 20 female players along with representatives from 13 additional countries who will compete for USD$60,000 and valuable world ranking points.
Cabrera has been in impressive form reaching the quarterfinals of WTA events in Guangzhou and Hong Kong and recording a career best win over world number 31 Anett Kontaveit (EST). The 19 year old pushed Australia’s top ranked female Daria Gavrilova to three sets in the quarterfinals of Hong Kong and now sits at a career high ranking of 134.
I’m feeling confident at where my game is at heading into the Apis Canberra International. I am coming off a great couple of months, after making the quarter finals at WTA events in Guangzhou and Hong Kong,” Cabrera said.
The event will kick start a big few months for Cabrera in Australia saying “Canberra is a really important part of my preparations for the Australian summer of tennis and working towards my goal of breaking into the top 100. It’s a really strong field, so I am expecting some tough matches against quality opponents.”
Returning to Canberra for a third consecutive year, Rodionova will head into this year’s event as the top seed and at a career high ranking of 116 in the world. Rodionova has had a breakthrough year at Grand Slam level, qualifying for Wimbledon before defeating 16th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) in the opening round. She also progressed to the second round of the US Open and made her first career WTA quarterfinal at the Jiangxi Open in China.
After starting the year ranked 386, 17 year old, Destanee Aiava (VIC) has risen up the rankings in 2017, peaking at 147 in the world last month. In January she became the first player born in the 2000’s to win a WTA main draw match when she defeated Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) in the opening round of the Brisbane International. Aiava went on to win Pro Tour titles in Perth and Mornington, before being named in Australia’s Fed Cup team against Serbia in April.
Victorian Olivia Rogowska will be the in form Aussie to watch, after winning Pro Tour titles in Cairns and Penrith this year, along with a semifinal appearance in Brisbane. Notably, Rogowska was recently awarded a qualifying wildcard into Australian Open 2018 after being recognised as the best performing Australian woman across the four $25,000 Pro Tour events.
Kimberly Birrell (QLD) will return to Canberra after reaching the semifinals in 2015. The Aussie peaked at a career high ranking of 275 in early 2016 before being sidelined with a chronic elbow injury for most of 2016/17. She has made a strong return to the court, winning the Pro tour title in Brisbane and reaching the final in Penrith.
A host of other Australians will contest the main draw including Isabelle Wallace (VIC), Tammi Patterson (VIC), Naiktha Bains (QLD), Zoe Hives (VIC), Ellen Perez (NSW), and Olivia Tjandramulia (QLD)
The international charge will be led by Miyu Kato (JPN) and Asia Muhammad (USA), currently ranked 126 and 136 respectively. The pair have both experienced success in Canberra with Kato winning the 2016 ACT Claycourt International #2 and Muhammad winning the 2015 Canberra International.
Local hope Alison Bai (ACT) will play qualifying along with Jessica Moore (WA), Sara Tomic (QLD) and Storm Sanders (WA). National Academy Canberra athletes Lisa Mays and Annerly Poulos will have to wait until closer to the event to see if they will play with both currently on the alternate list along with Sarina Kang (ACT).
Full entry list is available here
The entry list for the men’s event will be announced on Tuesday.
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