Every week on wtatennis.com we'll bring you 10 of the most important things to know for the upcoming events - who's playing, where, upcoming milestones... first up is Brisbane, Shenzhen and Auckland.
~ Nine Top 10 players are in action this week, five of them in Brisbane (Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Jelena Jankovic and Angelique Kerber), two in Shenzhen (Li Na and Sara Errani) and two at Hopman Cup, a non-WTA event (Agnieszka Radwanska and Petra Kvitova).
~ This week marks Williams' 169th career week as World No.1, and if she hangs onto that ranking she is projected to pass Monica Seles for fifth-most weeks all-time in mid-March (Seles had 178 weeks).
~ Williams and Azarenka played an exhibition match in Hua Hin, Thailand on Saturday, with Azarenka prevailing in straight sets, 75 63 (though Williams leads their WTA head-to-head, 13-3).
~ Li is playing her first tournament since becoming Asia's highest-ranked player in tennis history after the WTA Championships (she became No.3 after Istanbul, bettering Kimiko Date-Krumm's No.4).
~ Vera Zvonareva, a two-time Grand Slam finalist and former World No.2, makes her long-awaited comeback from illness and a shoulder injury in Shenzhen (she hasn't played since the Olympics).
~ Li and Zvonareva unfortunately drew each other in the first round - Zvonareva leads Li in their head-to-head, 4-3, and has won four of their last five meetings (though they haven't played since 2010).
~ Williams is playing an Australian Open lead-up event for just the fourth time in her career, having played Sydney twice (in 1998 and 1999) and Gold Coast once (in 2001 - winning the title).