Brisbane International: Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt confirm entries
Last Updated: 02/10/13 1:27pm
Serena Williams will defend her title in Brisbane in January
World No 1 Serena Williams has confirmed that she will warm up for the Australian Open by competing at the Brisbane International.
The 17 times grand slam champion won the title at Brisbane back in January and Williams believes the tournament provides the perfect preparation for the opening grand slam of 2014.
Williams told the tournament's official website: "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."
Lleyton Hewitt: Expecting another tough tournament
Lleyton Hewitt has also announced that he will be taking part in the ATP version of the event.
The 32-year-old made his first-ever appearance at the tournament this year as a wildcard, going on to reach the second round - and the former world No 1 has now agreed to return.
Hewitt said: "It was the first time I played the Brisbane International this year and I had a lot of fun up there.
"It's going to be another tough tournament; they always have extremely strong fields. Roger Federer is going there for the first time as well, so that's going to be pretty exciting for the Brisbane International."
Tournament director Cameron Pearson is delighted that Williams and Hewitt will be taking part.
"We are thrilled to welcome back our 2013 champion Serena Williams and Lleyton Hewitt, both players are crowd favourites," said Pearson.
"Serena is one of the most dominant figures of world tennis. Since claiming the Brisbane title this January, Serena has again had a wonderful year on the court which has culminated in her winning her fifth US Open title and second French Open crown.
"Lleyton is one of our country's most accomplished players and has a strong and loyal following here in Queensland."