Great news for the Moorilla Hobart International… Dinara Safina has signed on! The tall Russian (a former World No.1 and sister of Marat Safin) was runner-up at the Australian Open in 2009. And now she’ll be playing tennis in Tasmania! She will be a major contender for the 2011 title, won this year by Alona Bondarenko.

Hobart International - Alona Bondarenko
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2010 Hobart International winner, Alona Bondarenko

Dinara Safina Headlines Hobart International

Although her rankings have slipped recently through injury, Safina is still a major draw-card. With a high profile and admirable Grand Slam results, her powerful game is sure to attract a crowd.

Read what tournament director Michael Roberts had to say about the exciting announcement at the Hobart International website.

Australians Playing Tennis in Tasmania

Jarmila Groth has also signed to play tennis in Tasmania in January. Second in the Australian rankings behind Samantha Stosur, Groth has enjoyed a successful year. Making the fourth round of both the French Open and Wimbledon, spectators can expect the top 50 player to showcase her hard-hitting game.

This year’s appearance by Alicia Molik was well supported by Tasmanian tennis fans.

Hobart International - Alicia Molik
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Alicia Molik at the 2010 Moorilla Hobart International

Australian Open Series Tournament

The Hobart tournament is used by local and international players as a warm up to the Australian Grand Slam. Another former World No. 1 at the time, Serena Williams no less, played at the Moorilla Hobart International in 2007.  She went on to win her third Australian Open title at Melbourne Park that same year, defeating Maria Sharapova in the final. Maybe Dinara Safina can follow the same comeback trail.

Tasmanian Tennis Hobart International Upgrade

The Queens Domain venue has had a major make-over since the 2010 tournament and will prove even better for spectators. With new seating and facilities, patrons at the Hobart International tournament will enjoy greater comfort while still being really close to the action.

Hobart International - Michael Roberts
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Michael Roberts at the revamped Hobart International venue

Aside from the main arena, tennis is also played on an adjacent show court. Several of the courts at ground level are used for practice, giving fans a great close-up view of their favourite female professionals.

Gisela Dulko played in Hobart in 2010 and was a real hit with the crowds.

Hobart International - Gisela Dulko
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Gisela Dulko: centre court action, Hobart International

Improvements to the tennis facilities in Hobart will also be utilised in February 2011, as Australia takes on Italy in a Fed Cup match.

The Moorilla Hobart International will be played at the Domain Tennis Centre, with Qualifying commencing Fri 7 January. The final will be played Sat 15 January 2011. Ticket prices start at $9-90 – extremely good value for the quality of professional tennis promised.

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