Eastbourne’s Johanna Konta has confirmed she will defend her title at the Sydney International in January.
Konta, the world No 9, triumphed in Sydney earlier this year without dropping a set. In the final she beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-2. The British No 1 took her good form into the Australian Open, where she reached the quarter-fianls - stopped only by eventual champion Serena Williams. “Winning Sydney is one of my highlights of this year and really helped to kick start what’s been the best season of my career so far,” Konta said. “The tournament holds a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to come back and defend my title in 2018.”
Konta is also scheduled to play at the Intercontinental World Tennis Thailand Championship in Hua Hin next month.
The Briton will join world No 1 Simona Halep, French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko and world No 4 Karolina Pliskova for the festive showdown from December 23-24.
It’s set to be Konta’s first tournament since splitting from her coach Wim Fissette.
Konta won the biggest title of her career at the Miami Open in April under Fissette’s guidance and then made the semi-finals of Wimbledon to climb to fourth in the world rankings.
But her season went rapidly downhill following Wimbledon, winning just two matches and losing her last five.