Sharapova, Dimitrov line-up for Brisbane International

Sydney: French Open champion Maria Sharapova is set to take part in the Brisbane International as a tune-up for January's Australian Open, along with Grigor Dimitrov, Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur.

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova 

Sharapova, the world number four and five-time Grand Slam winner, will kick off 2015 at the competition in Queensland from January 4 to 11, organisers said Wednesday.

"Brisbane is such a great tournament, I've tried to make it so many years and I finally made it in 2014 and it was such a great experience," said the Russian star, who bowed out to Serena Williams in the semi-finals.

Australia's defending champion Hewitt will return to the competition in a bid to win back-to-back titles after his victory over Roger Federer in the 2014 final.

"I really enjoy starting my year in Brisbane, it's such a great tournament that traditionally has a strong line-up of players," Hewitt, 33, said.

Bulgaria's Dimitrov, currently world number 10, US Open champion Marin Cilic, runner-up Kei Nishikori and 17-time Grand Slam champion Federer are also in the men's draw.

Australia's Stosur, who hails from Brisbane, said she was looking forward to playing in front of her home crowd at the tournament. Next season's opening Grand Slam, the Australian Open, takes place in Melbourne from January 19 to February 1.

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