Serena to kick off 2014 in Brisbane
Originally published on: 29/11/13 00:00
The world No.1, who won the first of her 11 titles of 2013 at the tournament, will kick off her season in Brisbane as she completes her preparations for the Australian Open.
"I was really excited to win," Williams said. "I was so focused on the final and felt like this was a good start for the Australian Open.
“They have a great fitness centre; they have great courts that are identical to the surface played in Melbourne. Plus I have a week off after the tournament, so it's always a good preparation to play in Brisbane, and it's always fun to go back and try and defend your title."
Williams could renew her rivalry with Victoria Azarenka as early as the first week of the season after the Belarusian confirmed her entry.
The pair were due to meet in the semi-finals last year but Azarenka was forced to withdraw with a toe injury before returning to action in Melbourne, where she won a second Australian Open title.
"I always enjoy spending time in Queensland and I really love playing on Pat Rafter Arena," said the 2009 champion. "I won my first WTA title there so I have some fond memories and I'd love to win the title again. Brisbane always has a strong field and it will provide me with tough matches against the world's best."
Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki have also confirmed their attendance in Brisbane.