The Caterpillar Burnie International will have the best women’s field in the history of the event after the release of the entry list on Thursday.
There were 20 players to receive direct acceptances into the field with the cut to qualify straight into the main draw at 187 in the world and three players coming from the top 100 in the world, China’s Yafan Wang (70), Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo (86) and Great Britain’s Heather Watson (91).
Burnie International organising committee chairman Anthony Johnstone said it was great for the tournament to secure such a strong field this year.
“It is the best field we have ever had for the women’s draw in the Burnie International and it is really exciting for us.
“Having the cut off of 190 (in the world) shows the players in the draw the improved depth in the field to no end and the depth continues in the qualifying field.
“It will be a challenge for players coming up to try and get into the tournament because of the new interest in the event after the date change.”
Among the names of players receiving direct acceptances was 2018 champion and Ukrainian world number 119 Marta Kostyuk, who will be back to defend her title if she doesn’t advance deep into the Australian Open.
The Ukrainian has Johnstone said it was a coup to see Kostyuk wants to come back to try and win the title again.
“It is great that she is coming back to defend her title, it is great thing and it what the players tend to want to do.”
With the improvement to the depth of the field with the 20th player getting direct entry into the field in Great Britain’s Gabriella Taylor holding a greater world ranking than last year’s eighth seed, only two Australian have made their way into the main draw in Arina Rodionova and Ellen Perez.
The number is half of last year’s field of four Australians going straight into the main draw.
The requiring to qualify for the event includes 2016 champion American Asia Muhammad, 2019 Australian Open wildcard and 2018 Burnie International semi finalist Zoe Hives and rising Australian players Destanee Aiava and Jaimee Fourlis.