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Victoria Azarenka to face Serena Williams in Bangkok, Brisbane

Victoria Azarenka, the world's No. 2 ranked female tennis player, will face world champion Serena Williams in an exhibition match in Bangkok, followed by the real thing at the Brisbane International, in preparation for the Australian Open.

By Associated Press / November 29, 2013

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus hits a return to Li Na of China during their WTA tennis championships match at Sinan Erdem Dome in Istanbul, October 25.

Osman Orsal/Reuters

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Bangkok; Brisbane, Australia

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.

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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.

Ms. Azarenka has twice played exhibitions matches there, while this will be Ms. 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 Dec. 29 to Jan. 5 Brisbane tournament will include six 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."

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