Organisers at the Brisbane International are breathing a sigh of relief, this week, after tennis player, Andy Murray, revealed that he would begin his preparations for the Australian Open by participating in the ATP World Tour 250 event, in January.
The addition will be a huge boon for the men's singles contest.
Brisbane's female tournament is looking distinctly more interesting, with Maria Sharapova, Sam Stosur, Ana Ivanovic, Kim Clijsters, and Serena Williams all submitting their application forms to the Queensland, Australia, event. Those looking at the Australian Open betting odds online
will be keeping an eye on their progress.
Speaking about Andy Murray, director at the Brisbane International, Cameron Pearson, said that the Scot is "arguably, one of the best players on the men's tour".
The tennis chief added that the interest showed in the event by household names, such as Murray and Sharapova, was indicative of the growing reputation of the hard court tournament. "[Murray] will be a real asset to the Brisbane International", Pearson concluded.
Murray is currently nursing a groin injury sustained in his loss to David Ferrer, yesterday, and, while he is likely to have recovered prior to the start of the Brisbane International, he may yet choose to sit out the event to protect his Australian Open campaign.
Rafael Nadal chose a similar course of action at the Paris Masters, earlier this month, to prepare for the ATP Finals. The Spaniard upset a number of his fans by cancelling his appearance, despite being a scheduled highlight of the event.
The Brisbane International is a beneficiary of the Events Queensland initiative, a government-sponsored campaign to increase the popularity of the north-eastern state with tourists and local people.
Andy Murray says that he is relishing the opportunity to play in Queensland, having never visited the state before.