It may still be early December, but for most of the WTA pre-season training is already well underway.
If they are not at hard at work on the practice court, then they are busy tuning up for January's big kick off on the exhibition circuit. Two players choosing the latter are Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka, who get the chance to lay down an early marker when they renew their rivalry on the eve of the new season.
Williams and Azarenka will face off as part of the Hua Hin World Tennis Invitation in Thailand on December 28.
Although Williams holds a healthy 13-3 head-to-head advantage over Azarenka, their recent meetings have been eagerly contested; they met four times in 2013, with Williams triumphing in Rome and at the US Open, while Azarenka prevailed in Doha and Cincinnati.
After this latest installment of their rivalry, both players will head straight to Australia to begin their season at the Brisbane International the following week.
As an appetizer for their exhibition match, the world's Top 2 players will also be doing battle in a less familiar environment - the beach. The Hua Hin resort hosts the final event of the ITF's Beach Tennis Tour and to help promote the sport Williams and Azarenka will be taking to the sand.