Serena Williams to face Victoria Azarenka in Bangkok, Brisbane as she preps for 2014 Australian Open
Serena Williams (r) holds the US Open championship trophy with runner-up Victoria Azarenka (l) September 8, 2013. PHOTO/Reuters
WTA No.1 Serena Williams, will play Victoria Azarenka in an exhibition match in Thailand next month in a clash of the world’s top two female players.
The Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand announced on Thursday that the match will be part of the regular invitational event in Hua Hin, a popular holiday destination southwest of Bangkok.
Azarenka has twice played exhibitions matches there, while this will be Williams’ first appearance at the event.
Williams will also be defending her title against Azarenka at next month’s Brisbane International, among a powerful women’s field in preparation for the Australian Open.
Williams’ opponents at the December 29 to January 5 Brisbane tournament will include 6 of the world’s top-10 players. The field announced Thursday includes Azarenka — the 2009 champion — Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic, Angelique Kerber and Caroline Wozniacki.
The men’s field is headlined by 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer, whose rivals include top-20 players Kei Nishikori of Japan, Gilles Simon of France and Kevin Anderson of South Africa.
Tournament director Cameron Pearson said “to have Roger Federer and Serena Williams headline the event is a remarkable result and testament to the high regard the players have for the tournament.”
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press