• Players praise new Brisbane court

    1/1/09 4:37 PM | Johan Lindahl
    Players praise new Brisbane court Early arrivals including Richard Gasquet, Marcos Baghdatis, and Robin Söderling have all given the center court at the new Brisbane International a solid thumbs-up as the countdown to Monday's ATP season start begins.

    The Europeans could find no fault with the Plexipave surface laid down at what has been named the Pat Rafter arena and which duplicates the synthetic surface used at the Australian Open starting January 19.

    Gasquet called the court at the 5,000-seat arena "really, really great arena, the court is great. It's not too fast and not too slow for us," said the former Top 10 player.

    Baghdatis, an Aussie favourite since his run to the final in 2006, also concurred. Leading the men's field is world No. 3 Serb Novak Djokovic, along with defending Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.

    Play begins on Monday at the tournament which also features a WTA field paced by French Open champion Ana Ivanovic.

    "Every player that's been out there have given (the court) the green light," said tournament director Steve Ayles. "It's a pace of court that suits all types of players and it's identical to the Australian Open."

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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