SYDNEY – Former world number one Andy Roddick will defend his title at Australia's Brisbane International tennis tournament in January, officials said Wednesday.
Roddick, currently ranked ninth in the world, said he would use the event to prepare for the 2011 Australian Open, after reaching the quarter-finals there this year.
"I enjoyed the tournament and I feel it is the best preparation for me for the Australian Open," the American said.
"It was a big tournament for me last year just because I was coming off an extended lay-off and so I was a little anxious to get back out on the court.
"Obviously to come away with a win was more than I expected, and it was a good memory."
Roddick holds the record for the fastest serve in professional tennis, a blistering 249.5 kilometres per hour (155 miles), and Brisbane International director Steve Ayles said the American was an exciting signing.
"He is our defending champion and it only seems fitting to have the former number one and 2003 US Open champion the first locked in for 2011," he said.
Ayles added that Australia's top women's player Samantha Stosur, currently ranked sixth in the world, had also been confirmed.
Stosur reached this year's French Open final before losing to Italy's Francesca Schiavone in what Ayles described as an "inspiring" run of form.
"With any luck I will get the chance to be there on the final day of the tournament and be the first Aussie champion of the Brisbane international," Stosur said.