October 21, 2015

PERTH, Australia (AP) Top-ranked Serena Williams will combine with Jack Sock once again when she opens her 2016 tennis season at the Hopman Cup tournament in January.

Williams, who won the event in 2003 with James Blake and in 2008 with Mardy Fish, has been troubled by injury late this year, but expects to be ready for her now standard Australian Open preparation event.

World No. 2 Andy Murray will also head to Perth for the Jan. 3-9 event, partnering Heather Watson for Britain.

Troubled Australian Nick Kyrgios is will play in one of the host nation's two entries - Australia Green - while former No. 1 Leyton Hewitt joins Casey Dellacqua in Australia Gold.

After opening the 2015 season at the Hopman Cup, Williams went on to win the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon, as well as reaching the U.S. Open semifinals.

''Perth definitely started something quite amazing so it's only natural, and fair and reasonable that I go back to Perth,'' Williams said.

''For me the Hopman Cup is super great preparation for the Australian Open,'' she added. ''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.''

France's Gael Monfils, as well as women's stars Lucie Safarova and Sabine Lisicki will also compete.

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Hopman Cup pairings

United States: Jack Sock and Serena Williams; Australia Gold: Lleyton Hewitt and Casey Dellacqua; Australia Green: Nick Kyrgios and TBA; Britain: Andy Murray and Heather Watson; France: Gael Monfils and Caroline Garcia; Czech Republic: Jiri Veseley and Lucie Safarova; Germany: Alexander Zverev and Sabine Lisicki; Ukraine: Alexandr Dolgopolov and Elina Svitolina.

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