Serena, Monfils, Hewitt confirmed for Sydney ATP/WTA

SYDNEY: World number one Serena Williams, Frenchman Gael Monfils and four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt have been confirmed to play in the WTA/ATP Sydney International in January, organisers said on Thursday.

Williams, the current Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, reclaimed the top world ranking last week.

She will be joined in the women's draw by defending Sydney champion and world number five Elena Dementieva of Russia and world number eight Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.

"Sydney is a good place to kick off the year," Williams said in a statement. "It's a great warm-up for the Australian Open."

Tournament officials have also secured French showman Gael Monfils and leading Australian player Lleyton Hewitt in the men's draw.

Ranked 14, Monfils reached a career-high ranking of nine last March and claimed his second career ATP World Tour title in Metz last month.

Two-time major winner Hewitt, ranked 23, is chasing fifth Sydney title in the January 10-16 tournament.