Nishikori, Raonic to play season-opening Brisbane event


Sydney—Defending champion Milos Raonic and world number four Kei Nishikori will use the Brisbane International as a warm-up event for the Australian Open in January, organisers said Tuesday, rounding out a strong men’s field.
The pair join Swiss world number three Stan Wawrinka and 14-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal at the event from January 1-8, along with 10th ranked Dominic Thiem.
Big-serving Canadian Raonic stunned Roger Federer to win the Brisbane tournament last year and is keen to defend his title.
“I’ve made the previous two finals, and the challenge for me is to make it three in a row against a quality field of players all looking to start the season well,” said the world number six.
“Playing Brisbane is the best way to build momentum heading into the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open.” The topWOMEN’S player Angelique Kerber will also play the year-opening tournament, with French Open champion Garbine Muguruza also confirmed in the WTA draw.—AFP