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Rested Serena to face Azarenka in exhibition match in NYC

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Serena Williams has battled nagging injuries since the Australian Open, but will compete tomorrow.

NEW YORK (AP) The flashbulbs will surely go off as fans watch how Serena Williams moves around on that sore back and ankle at Madison Square Garden on Monday night.

It's only an exhibition, a perfect time for some photos, though Williams kind of likes golf's rule that prevents pictures at tournaments.

Now that she knows it exists.

The 15-time Grand Slam champion was caught by TV cameras with a look of surprise when security scolded her for snapping a shot from Tiger Woods' gallery at the Honda Classic on Friday.

"I think it's a great policy," Williams said with a laugh in a phone interview Sunday. "I had just never even watched golf in my life."

She was just so used to the shutters clicking at tennis tournaments.

"Who knew?" she said, then added: "Maybe everyone knew but me."

Williams pulled out of the Dubai Championships on Feb. 20, citing the back injury. She turned her right ankle in her first-round match at the Australian Open, then hurt her lower back in her quarterfinal loss to fellow American Sloane Stephens - something she says was simply a result of compensating for an ankle "that was the size of my thigh."

Her next tournament is in Miami in two weeks, and Williams says the rest has helped, though some days are better than others.

But first is her exhibition against Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka. It's a rematch of their final in Doha on Feb. 17, won by the Belarusian. Williams' run in that tournament returned her to the No. 1 ranking, making the 31-year-old the oldest woman to hold that spot.

Azarenka also pulled out of Dubai because of injury, in her case a bone bruise in her right foot.

Monday's event will allow American fans to see how another star is rounding back into form after a layoff: Rafael Nadal faces Juan Martin del Potro in the other match at the BNP Paribas Showdown.

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