Lleyton Hewitt is hoping a change of schedule will bring better fortune at the Australian Open after agreeing to debut at the Brisbane International.
Hewitt and world number nine Samantha Stosur confirmed on Tuesday they will start their Australian Open build-ups at the Brisbane tournament from December 30-January 6, joining fellow grand slam winners Andy Murray, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova at Queensland Tennis Centre.
For 31-year-old former world number one Hewitt it's a first, though he has enjoyed some memorable career moments in Brisbane, most notably the epic and spiteful 1999 Davis Cup tie against Russia.
Hewitt beat Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who branded the Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre grasscourt venue a "potato field", and then iced the tie by beating Marat Safin to clinch a memorable 4-1 victory.
"I've got some great memories of Brisbane and have had a couple of good wins there so hopefully it might change things for me in 2013," said Hewitt, who is ranked 105 after another tough season marred by injury.
"I love playing Australian tournaments and Brisbane is always a tough field and I want as many tough matches a possible, especially at that time of year.
World number nine Stosur was looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd for the fourth time and hoping she could produce some better results.
"It's always fun to play at home. You don't get many opportunities to play in your home country and the state that you've grown up in," said 2011 US Open champion Stosur.
"I have had a couple of good wins at the Brisbane International. I would like more, so hopefully that will change in 2013.
"It is a good week and a great atmosphere playing at Pat Rafter Arena ... the bigger the tournament has got, the bigger the names that want to come out and play.
"What better preparation than playing the best players in the world straight up."
AAPTags: sport, tennis, brisbane-4000 First posted October 09, 2012 14:07:03