Serena Williams to play Brisbane

BRISBANE, Australia -- Serena Williams has confirmed she will play in the Brisbane International tuneup event before next year's Australian Open.

Brisbane tournament officials said Wednesday that Williams, the defending champion, and Australian Lleyton Hewitt would join the previously announced Roger Federer at the hard-court tournament Dec. 29 through Jan. 5 at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

The Australian Open, which Williams has won five times, begins Jan. 13 at Melbourne Park. Williams, the world No. 1, will be attempting to win her 18th Grand Slam singles title.

Williams won nine WTA titles this year, including her fifth US Open title and second at the French Open.

Hewitt recently led Australia back into the Davis Cup's elite World Group after a six-year absence. He also reached the round of 16 at the US Open.

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