Serena to headline Aussie event

BRISBANE, Australia -- Top-ranked Serena Williams will defend her title 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 No. 2 Victoria 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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