Tennis: No. 1 Kerber to start 2017 at Brisbane International, joining her is Muguruza

Angelique Kerber will begin her 2017 tour campaign at the Brisbane International.
Angelique Kerber will begin her 2017 tour campaign at the Brisbane International. PHOTO: REUTERS

BRISBANE (AFP) - World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam tennis champion Angelique Kerber will return to the Brisbane International to launch her 2017 tour campaign, tournament organisers said on Thursday.

The German ended the 186-week reign of Serena Williams at the top of the WTA rankings following victory in the US Open earlier this month.

Kerber was runner-up to Victoria Azarenka in the last Brisbane event on the way to her maiden Grand Slam win at the Australian Open in January.

"For me, Brisbane kick-started the best season of my career this year," Kerber said.

"You have to play tournaments that will prepare you for the big moments, which for me, was winning the Australian Open and going on to be the number one player in the world."

Kerber will be joined in the Brisbane women's draw by world No. 3 and reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza.

Muguruza is the second high-ranking Spaniard confirmed for the Brisbane International, with Rafael Nadal headlining the men's draw.

The Brisbane International takes place from Jan 1-8.

Kerber suffered her first loss as world No. 1 on Wednesday, falling at the hands of fellow two-time Grand Slam winner Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic at the Wuhan Open in the round of 16.