(Reuters) - World number one Serena Williams will again launch her season at the Hopman Cup in Australia, tournament organizers said on Wednesday.
Williams reached the final of the mixed team event earlier this year with American compatriot John Isner to kick off a superb season where she won the Australian and French Opens and Wimbledon to take her grand slam singles haul to 21.
“Perth definitely started something quite amazing so I think it’s only natural and fair and reasonable that I go back to Perth,” the 34-year-old said in a statement. “We were so close to winning last year. I’m really excited to be back.”
Williams added that the Hopman Cup was excellent preparation for the Australian Open.
“In 2016 I want to play doubles in Australia so it will be really exciting for me to get there, play some doubles and get some little experience at the Hopman Cup,” she said.
Williams has not played since suffering a shock semi-final defeat to Italian Roberta Vinci at the U.S. Open last month which ended her bid for a rare calendar grand slam.
She pulled out of two events in China earlier this month, we well as next week’s WTA Finals in Singapore, citing the need to rest after a year spent carrying injuries.
Williams will be joined in the Jan. 3-9 Hopman Cup field by Briton Andy Murray and controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios.
(This version of the story was corrected to say ‘this year’ in paragraph two.)
Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford