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Kerber, Watson, Bouchard and Bellis headline Monterrey field

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Germany's Angelique Kerber, who will return to the top spot when the new Women's Tennis Association (WTA) rankings are released later this month, heads the list of players slated to compete at the Abierto Monterrey hard-court event in early April.

Also scheduled to take part in that tournament in northern Mexico are Russian world No.21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a three-time Monterrey champion; 25th-ranked Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia; Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up; and rising American teenage star CiCi Bellis, it was announced on Wednesday.

Defending champion Heather Watson of the United Kingdom also will compete in Monterrey, which will run from April 3 to April 9.

The second-ranked Kerber, who had a career year in 2016 that included capturing her first two Grand Slam singles titles (Australian Open and US Open), has struggled in the early part of this season.

The left-handed counter-puncher has not won a title yet in 2017 and already has lost several matches to players ranked outside the top 10.

Even so, the 29-year-old will move back into the top spot on March 20 because current world No.1, American Serena Williams, was forced to withdraw from this month's Indian Wells event with a knee injury.

Kerber lost in the 2013 Monterrey final to Pavlyuchenkova.