Australian Open organisers have confirmed that the world’s top 100 players in both women’s and men’s rankings are scheduled to feature in the first major of the new season.
Women’s top-ranked player Simona Halep will lead the singles draw that also has Serena Williams, who returns to Melbourne for the first time since she won the tournament in 2017 and then announced she was pregnant when she won it.
The men’s section of the draw will be led by Novak Djokovic, who is not just the top-ranked player in the world but also a six-time Australian Open champion. Only two other players have won the men’s singles titles six times.
Also featuring in the competition will be the women’s and men’s defending champions, Caroline Wozniacki and Roger Federer. It was Wozniacki’s maiden Grand Slam triumph last year as she scythed past Halep in the final while Federer won his sixth Australian Open and 20th major title last year.
Williams, who is 16th on the WTA Rankings chart, will also look to win her first Grand Slam title since her return to tennis after the birth of her kid. She featured at all the three preceding Grand Slams and even made it to the final at Wimbledon and US Open but lost both, to Angelique Kerber and Naomi Osaka.
Andy Murray, who has fallen to outside the top 200 in the rankings following his fitness problems, also returns to feature at the competition he has been a finalist at five times but never won. He will use a protected ranking.
And with the Australian Open expected to feature a very strong field this year, Nick Krygios might go into his home tournament as an unseeded player. Some of the other Australian players who will take part in the tournament include Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said:
“It’s an exciting time of year and we can’t wait to welcome this exceptionally strong player field to Melbourne for Australian Open 2019.”