SEVENTEEN-TIME Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will return to Brisbane this summer for a second tilt at the Brisbane International title.
Federer today confirmed he will again start his new season campaign in the Sunshine State, having finished runner-up to local favourite Lleyton Hewitt (SA) in 2014.
The world No.3 said Brisbane was the ideal destination to launch his 2015 campaign, and warned rivals he would arrive at Pat Rafter Arena in top form.
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“The conditions are very similar to Melbourne so I think it’s an ideal preparation [for the Australian Open]… It’s an important tournament on my calendar, a tournament I’m very happy to go back to and I was very excited to go there for the first time this year,” Federer said.
“When I sign up for a tournament it’s because I’m going to try to win it and I want to enjoy the week there.”
Federer won over fans at Queensland Tennis Centre this year, stepping out in front of record crowds in both the singles and doubles events.
“It was a great experience overall, on court and away from it as well,” he said.
“I really enjoyed the city and the people were so friendly and welcoming to not just me but my whole family, and made our stay very special. Things went so well on the court in the singles and the doubles, I was actually very pleased because you never know when you come to a new arena, a new place how things are going to go but I was very happy with the whole week.
“The atmosphere was very special, I think you could really feel a buzz. Throughout the week a sold-out crowd from the first day to the very end, and clearly the final was extra special playing against Lleyton in Australia.”
Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson, who is currently at the US Open in New York finalising details for Federer’s return, said the announcement was exciting news for local fans.
“Roger is arguably the greatest player the sport has ever seen and we’re thrilled that tennis fans will have another chance to see him in action in Brisbane,” he said.
“So many people have said to me they missed seeing Roger last year so I urge everyone to get in early and secure their seats for 2015. This summer we welcomed record crowds to Queensland Tennis Centre, and the best advice I can give anyone wanting to come along is to book your seats as soon as possible.
“Roger is a massive drawcard for the event and we look forward to seeing him return for another attempt at winning the Roy Emerson Trophy in January.”
The Hon. Jann Stuckey, Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games said Brisbane International has fast become a highlight of the city’s summer events calendar.
“Roger Federer’s debut attendance was a smash hit for Queensland’s tourism industry, attracting a record crowd of 105,730 across the event and significantly impacting our state’s economy,” Ms Stuckey said.
“While he fell in the final to local hero Lleyton Hewitt at this year’s event, Roger also fell in love with Queensland and is ready for round two when Queensland’s biggest tennis event swings back into action in January.
“The Brisbane International is a major event on Queensland’s calendar, supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, and I’m excited to see Roger return and compete against the best talent from Australia and the world.”
Brisbane International 2015 will be held at Queensland Tennis Centre from 4 to 11 January 2015. Premium tickets are now on sale at ticketek.com.au/brisbaneinternational. All other Brisbane International ticket packages for Pat Rafter Arena go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 1 October (local time), with single session tickets and ground passes on sale from 9am on Wednesday 8 October.