| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
Photo credit: Kenneth B. Goldberg

The brightest stars of world tennis are headed to Sydney in January with Apia International Sydney tournament organizers announcing nine top 10 players are set to compete for the prestigious titles. The lineup for the 2013 Apia International Sydney Tournament, set for Jan. 6-12, includes seven top 10 women, two top 10 men and three previous Sydney champions. The men’s draw boasts two top 10 stars in French pair world number eight Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and number 10, Richard Gasquet, and top-ranked American, John Isner (currently ranked 14th in the world).

The cut-off for the men’s draw is inside the world’s top 50 and includes Spaniard Fernando Verdasco [24] and new Australian number one and world number 49, Marinko Matosevic.

“I am excited and proud to be a direct entry into the Sydney event in January,” Matosevic said. “The tournament always attracts a really strong field and this time is no different with players like Tsonga and Gasquet competing in Sydney. I’m looking forward to competing well there and trying to get as many matches under my belt before the Australian Open.”

Matosevic moved from outside the world’s top 200 to a position in the top 50 in 2012 and was voted Most Improved Player of the Year by the ATP. He reached his first ATP World Tour singles final this year at Delray Beach, going down to South African Kevin Anderson, also a confirmed starter for Sydney in 2013.

Adding to the French flavor of the field are 2011 champion and world number 16 Gilles Simon, Jeremy Chardy and 2012 finalist Julien Benneteau. Reigning champion Jarkko Nieminin, crowd favorite Feliciano Lopez and Czech Davis Cup hero Radek Stepanek are also signed on to challenge for the 2013 title.

Apia International Sydney 2013, supported by Apia in association with Destination NSW, Caltex and Sydney Olympic Park Authority, will take place at Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre.