Serena set for Australia Open

Posted October 11, 2017

SERENA WILLIAMS might be making her comeback at the Australian Open, in a bid to defend her title, claims tournament's director Craig Tiley.

Tennis great and former world number one Williams celebrated the birth of her first child Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr - who has the initials of the Australian Open - on September 1, having been pregnant when she won her 23rd grand slam at the year's first major in January.

"She wants to come back in 2018 and defend her title", Tiley added (via the BBC).

'The competitor that she is - she wants to win more than the 23 grand slam titles that she has.

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"Serena is a truly remarkable athlete and she's hasn't ruled out a return to the Australian Open".

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

Tiley said while the upgrade to include a 5,000-seat sunken show-court wouldn't be complete until 2019, the tournament wouldn't be affected, with more music and a larger kids zone part of the attractions.

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

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The tournament's overall prize pool will increase be 55 million Australian dollars ($42.7 million), and the men's and women's singles champions will earn $A4 million (about $3.1 million depending on exchange rates), an increase of 20 percent. "I have been playing some really great tennis this year and I feel I'm in a strong position, both physically and mentally, in the lead up to Sydney", she said. "And am pleased to announce we'll have the full top 100 men and women returning to the Australian Open".

The five-time runner-up in Melbourne has been out injured since he exited Wimbledon with a hip injury in July having made the decision to take the remainder of the season off for his recovery.

While Nick Kyrgios will be a headline act, fellow Australian Bernard Tomic may be forced to seek a wildcard entry unless his ranking improves to about 105 in the world.

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