Even though it is technically still 2015 for another few hours, Thursday at the Brisbane International was already all about 2016, as the tournament’s star players prepared for the very first event of the new season.
Being played alongside the WTA events in Shenzhen & Auckland, as well as the Hopman Cup in Perth, Brisbane has once again attracted the strongest field of players in a packed first week of the 2016 season.
The tournament is led by the 2015 Brisbane International champion Maria Sharapova, who has returned to the Queensland Tennis Centre for a third time. Other top players include Simona Halep and Victoria Azarenka, the latter trying to return to her winning ways in Brisbane that led her all the way into the 2014 final.
The event also features some of last season’s most exciting young prospects with Garbine Muguruza and Belinda Bencic joining the field in Brisbane as well, trying to continue their impressive rise through the WTA ranks.
Having completed a long and & exhausting trip overseas, the priorities for players on Thursday were to prepare for the event and to get their inner clocks adjusted as quickly as possible. Maria Sharapova shared her secret on how to overcome jetlag with the press — the five-time Grand Slam champion will spend New Year’s Eve in bed sleeping.
Qualifying action at the 2016 Brisbane International is due to kick off on New Year’s day before the tournament’s main draw play will get underway on Sunday. Make sure to keep checking back to Women’s Tennis Blog all week for all the latest action from the first major WTA event of the season!