Tennis

Serena Williams, Azarenka to open 2013 at Hua Hin

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BANGKOK (AP)

Top-ranked Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams will open their 2013 campaigns at the World Tennis Invitation exhibition tournament starting Dec. 29 at the Thai resort town of Hua Hin.

Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand president Suwat Lipatapanlop said Monday he is ''delighted'' the pair have chosen to start their 2013 campaign in Thailand.

Suwat said the tournament - used by many players as a warm-up for the Australian Open -would be a ''once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Thai fans to watch Serena play.''

Williams will enter the new year after a dominating 2012 that included winning the Wimbledon, US Open and Olympic singles titles.

Azarenka is defending her Hua Hin title after beating Caroline Wozniacki in last year's final, while Williams will play in Thailand for the first time.

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