Fernando Verdasco, is the fourth top 10 player to start their Australian summer in Brisbane. Joining the current singles champion and world No. 8, Andy Roddick, world No.5 Robin Soderling and Queensland’s own Samantha Stosur, ranked No.6, Verdasco will return for his second attempt at a Brisbane International title after making the final of the event in its inaugural year. “Fernando was a finalist in the singles and doubles at the Brisbane International in 2009,” Tournament Director Steve Ayles said. “I remember in his post-match speech that he promised he would come back and go one step further. Now he is confirmed to contest the event, he can do just that. “The Spaniard has had a great year with two ATP title wins. One against Robin Soderling in a close three-set match at the Barcelona Open BancSabadell and the other against Andy Roddick at the SAP Open in San Jose, which ended the American’s chances of winning the title for the fourth year in a row. “As such I would imagine there will be quite a bit of rivalry between these three come January. “The 26 year old is a crowd favorite on and off the court and he is a great addition to the 2011 event. I look forward to welcoming him back,” Ayles said.
Verdasco is currently the third-highest ranked Spanish tennis player on the ATP circuit, behind world No.1 Rafael Nadal and No.7 Ferrer. The Spaniard has won five ATP titles and has been a finalist on a further eight occasions. He has also played a major part in winning two Davis Cup’s, playing the deciding match in both 2008 and 2009. Verdasco’s best result at a Grand Slam was in 2009, following the Brisbane International, where he made the semifinals of the Australian Open. Verdasco lost to compatriot Nadal, 7-6(4) 4-6 6-7(2) 7-6(1) 4-6, in an epic match that went for five hours and 10 minutes.