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World's top women tennis players set to kick-off the New Year in Brisbane

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The strongest ever women's field is set to battle it out at the Brisbane International in 2013, with eight of the top 10 women confirmed for the event.

The star-studded field is headlined by world No.1 Victoria Azarenka (BLR), the inaugural winner of the Brisbane International, and includes world No. 2 Maria Sharapova (RUS) world No.3 Serena Williams (USA), world No.5 Angelique Kerber (GER), world No.6 Sara Errani (ITA), world No.8 Petra Kvitova (CZE), world No.9 Samantha Stosur (AUS) and world No.10 Caroline Wozniacki (DEN).

"I am really looking forward to returning to Brisbane. The city is beautiful, the venue is first class and I thoroughly enjoyed playing there in 2009 when I won the inaugural title," said Azarenka.

"I am very proud to have ended the year as world No.1 and I am excited to start my 2013 campaign in Brisbane. I know I will get some tough matches against the world's best there, which is perfect preparation leading into the Australian Open where I aim to defend my 2012 title," the 23-year-old continued.

This will be Azarenka's first visit to Brisbane since capturing the women's singles in 2009 with a straight sets win over French woman Marion Bartoli. Her stellar 2012 has seen her win six WTA titles, including her first Grand Slam crown at the Australian Open.

Brisbane International Tournament Director, Cameron Pearson, says tennis fans won’t want to miss the world-class tennis on offer in 2013.

“The women’s field is spectacular, it’s the strongest ever seen in Queensland with eight of the top 10 women set to start their 2013 season in Brisbane,” he said. â€œWe have the current world No.1, three former world No. 1 players plus five Grand Slam winners, and between them they have won 22 major titles. In a battle between the top three, Victoria and Maria will be especially motivated to turn the tables on Serena, who dominated their matches in 2012, and this should make for some electrifying tennis.

Brisbane International 2013, will take place at the Queensland Tennis Centre, Brisbane, from 30 December 2012 to 6 January 2013.