Published: Tue, October 10, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Australian Open officials expecting Serena Williams to defend title

Australian Open officials expecting Serena Williams to defend title

Williams, who is engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, has not played on the WTA Tour since her victory at Melbourne Park.

"Serena, the competitor that she is, she wants to win more than the 23 Grand Slam titles that she has", said Tiley during an announcement on what fans could expect of the 2018 tournament.

Serena Williams is targeting a comeback for the 2018 Australian Open despite only giving birth in September.

"I've been in contact with all the top players and am pleased to announce we'll have the full top 100 men and women returning to the Australian Open", Tiley said.

The two of them, along with the three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka and 14th ranked Kei Nishikori, will return to action in Melbourne as tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed the news.

Williams was pregnant last January when she beat her sister Venus in the final.

Novak Djokovic has also been out of action since Wimbledon due to an elbow injury, and a knee problem picked up in the summer hampered Stanislas Wawrinka's season.

The menu's come-back, we delight also of the returns of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

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Her first child's initials are the same as the first Grand Slam of the year and Williams had previously outlined her plans to defend the title they won together - despite the tournament starting just four months after she gave birth.

"I can tell you that in talking to Andy, he has been training and he is preparing for having a great year in 2018", Tiley said.

Tiley said that watching Federer and Nadal share four Grand Slam titles this year would have been painful for the Scot.

"There's several months to go and obviously it will be up to her as to where she is with her fitness".

"As competitive as Andy is, we know he's back and he'll want to improve his current ranking of number three in the world and getting back to number one".

He added that the 36-year-old's mind was firmly fixed on the tournament, which coincidentally has the same initials as her daughter, Alexis Olympia.

Williams can match Margaret Court's all-time record of 24 Grand Slam titles if she defends her title.

The total tournament purse has risen 10 percent to Aus 55 million dollar.

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