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Serena Williams set to cope with Perth heat for Oz Open tune-up

Perth: Women's World No.1 Serena Williams has said playing in the Hopman Cup under hot weather conditions here will help her excel in the Australian Open starting January 19.

Cool: Serena Williams meets Sunshine the koala with handler Steve Gillam from at Kings Park in Perth yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Cool: Serena Williams meets Sunshine the koala with handler Steve Gillam from at Kings Park in Perth yesterday. Pic/Getty Images 

Williams will be in action in the United States of America's (USA) opening Cup tie against Italy at the Perth Arena today when temperatures are expected to reach a maximum 41 degrees Celsius. "It's going to help me for Melbourne," Williams was quoted as saying by news.com.au yesterday.

"Perth is one of the most hottest places I've ever played, so it will be really good for the preparation in Melbourne, which is always super hot."

The 33-year-old admitted at facing difficulty in adjusting to the heat after arriving from an American winter. But Williams says playing and practicing in hot conditions will boost her hopes for the Aus Open which she last won in 2010.

"I haven't won in Australia for several years, but there's also a lot of other people who want (to win the title) too. I'll just have to do my best," she said.

Williams also said she is bracing herself for a stiff competition in the new season: "The women's field is excellent here. More than anything it's a great time to get match play and not get stressed out too much. Usually I'm really stressed (in knockout tournaments), so this will be really good for me."

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