World No.17 and two-time tournament champion Elise Mertens will compete at the Hobart International in January.
The 24-year-old made tournament history at the Hobart International in 2018, becoming the first back-to-back singles champion after successfully defending the title she claimed as a qualifier in 2017.
Mertens also claimed the Hobart International doubles title in 2018, partnering with Dutch partner Demi Schuurs, and boasts an unblemished 16-0 career win-loss record at the tournament across both singles and doubles.
The Hobart International takes place at the Domain Tennis Centre from Saturday 11 January to Saturday 18 January 2020 and is a key lead-in tournament to the Australian Open.
“I am so excited to return to Hobart in 2020,” Mertens said.
“It is such a beautiful city and I have so many wonderful memories at this tournament.
“I can’t wait to see my local fans in January.”
The Belgian broke into the WTA top 100 for the first time after winning the Hobart International in 2017.
She has since made the semifinals at the Australian Open in 2018 and the quarterfinals at the 2019 US Open, finishing the past two seasons ranked inside the world’s top 20 in both singles and doubles.
Mertens is currently ranked No.6 in doubles and is the reigning US Open doubles champion.
“We are delighted to have the world number 17 back in Hobart where she launched her career,” Hobart International Tournament Director Darren Sturgess said.
“Elise is undefeated here and her return is great endorsement for the event and for tennis in Tasmania.”
Mertens joins Australian fan favourite Sam Stosur as confirmed competitors ahead of the January tournament.
A full field announcement for the Hobart International 2020 is expected in early December.