Brisbane - Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams
will be fit to play at the Brisbane International, which begins this
weekend, after injury scares, organisers said on Thursday.
Open champion Sharapova pulled out of an exhibition match against
Caroline Wozniacki scheduled for Friday in Seoul because of a sore
But the Russian, along with Williams one of the
biggest draws in women's tennis, is due to arrive for the Dec. 30-Jan. 6
tournament on Saturday.
Sharapova withdrew from the Australian Open warm-up event last year.
Williams, who won a fifth Wimbledon title, Olympic singles gold and a
fourth US Open crown in 2012, also pulled out of an exhibition against
China's Li Na in Thailand last week.
However, the American has been given the green light to participate in Brisbane following toe surgery.
"It's great that they're both going to be fit to play the first
tournament of the year," tournament organiser Cameron Pearson told
Eight of the world's top 10 women are scheduled
to play in the $1.5 million Brisbane event, including number one
Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Azarenka and Sharapova will both
receive first-round byes, as do the top four seeds in the men's draw,
headed by Britain's Olympic and US Open champion Andy Murray.