World ranking: 33
Australian Open best:
2003: 2nd round
2002: 1st round
2001: 3rd round
The big-hitting veteran is returning to the scene of some of her greatest triumphs.
In 1995 she won her first Grand Slam title by beating Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario in the final in Melbourne.
The victory made her the first Frenchwoman to claim a Grand Slam title since Francoise Durr won the French Open in 1967.
And in 1997, as an unseeded player, she reached the final of the Australian Open before losing to world number one Martina Hingis.
But Pierce, 29, has endured a miserable time with injury since winning the French Open in 2000.
She missed the last seven months of 2002 with a back injury and was hampered by a series of ailments last season.
Yet the season did end on a high note for Pierce.
She reached the fourth rounds at Wimbledon and the US Open and was a key part of the French side that beat the USA to lift the Fed Cup in November.