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Women to return to Kooyong Classic in 2017

AAP logoAAP 16/11/2016

Former grand slam finalist Sabine Lisicki will play in the 2017 Kooyong Classic, with the Australian Open-warm up event to feature women for just the second time.

The 2013 Wimbledon runner-up will join Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic and Romanian Sorana Cirstea in a round-robin fixture at the exhibition tournament in January.

Bernard Tomic will headline the men's fixture alongside Belgian world No.12 David Goffin and French veteran Richard Gasquet.

The only time women have previously played in the event was in 1993 but tournament director Peter Johnston says there is growing demand for greater opportunities to tune up for the Australian Open.

'"The feedback from the players and coaches was clear that the appetite is there for matches at Kooyong like the men currently have," he said on Wednesday.

"So it's a great option for the players, and there's no doubt that from an event presentation point of view, the inclusion of women into the field will broaden the appeal."

Croatia-born Tomljanovic, a former world No.47, has not played since January after undergoing shoulder surgery.

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