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More women tennis stars headed for Sydney

21:58 Thu Dec 6 2012
AAP

The women's field for next year's Sydney International is edging towards the full suite of the world's top 10 players, but Maria Sharapova looks likely to ensure there's a gap in the chain.

World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska was on Thursday added as the top-ranked player for the January 6-12 event at Sydney Olympic Park, which also includes Australia's world No.9 Sam Stosur.

Germany's Angelique Kerber (No.5) and Czech Petra Kvitova (No.8) were also included in the draw, with organisers still hoping to attract the top three over coming weeks.

World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is a good chance of returning, given she's the defending champion, and Serena Williams made the 2010 final on the way to winning the Australian Open two weeks later.

But Sharapova's preference for resting the week before the first grand slam of the year in Melbourne is set to blunt any hope of all of the WTA elite gathering in the harbour city.

The Sydney International has gained a reputation for finalists continuing their good form to the Australian Open, with the past four finals at Melbourne Park including a player who contested the decider in Sydney.

Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams and Dinara Safina have all benefited from playing all the way until Saturday's final.