Canadian superstar and fan favourite Eugenie Bouchard has been awarded a wildcard into the Hobart International in 2018.
The former world No.5 stormed into the Hobart International final in her 2016 debut and is looking forward to being part of the tournament’s 25th celebrations in January.
“I’m excited to be coming back to Hobart in 2018 and am really appreciative of the tournament for giving me a wildcard,” Bouchard said.
“It will be great preparation for the Australian Open, hopefully I’ll get a lot of good court time just like I did when I made the final in 2016.
“Hobart is a beautiful city and the support I received in my last visit was amazing, so I’m looking forward to seeing all my Tasmanian fans again too.”
Bouchard, an Australian Open semifinalist and Wimbledon finalist in 2014, is currently ranked No.82. She scored two top 10 wins during the 2017 season.
Hobart International Tournament Director Darren Sturgess said Bouchard was a fantastic addition to an already impressive field.
“Eugenie has a great history with the Hobart International and we are excited she will be back once again in January – and I’m sure her many fans will be too,” Sturgess said.
“I am confident that Eugenie will return to the top of the tennis rankings and believe that Hobart has the potential to be a great launch pad for her in 2018.
“A wildcard entry has never won the tournament, so there’s extra incentive for Eugenie to make some history of her own in what promises to be a special week as the event celebrates its 25th edition.”
The best performance from a wildcard in the tournament’s history occurred in the inaugural event in 1994, when Australian Rachel McQuillan made the final.
Bouchard joins a stellar line-up for the 2018 event, which includes former champions Elise Mertens, Alize Cornet and Mona Barthel. Top 40 stars Shuai Zhang and Sorana Cirstea will also compete.
A range of new initiatives will be introduced to make the tournament more family-friendly than ever, including a revamped hospitality offering and free entry for children.