Serena targets Australian Open title defence: organisers

SerenaWilliams-cropped

Australian Margaret Court is the all-time leader with 24.

Serena Williams looks set to return to defend her Australian Open title after becoming a mother in September, according to the tournament's director. "It's the first time ever that both the women and the men's victor will receive $4m each - that has not been done by any other grand slam or any other event", he said. Very few people knew that.

Serena beat Venus in the final in 2017 while pregnant but it will take an even more incredible effort for her to win the first Slam of 2018.

Evergreen Venus Williams will headline the Sydney International in January to kick off her 2018 season, returning to the tournament after a 20-year absence.

Australian Open officials are hopeful Serena Williams will make her competitive comeback to tennis next January to defend her title at Melbourne Park. "It will be up to her as far as where she is with her fitness".

"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.

'If anyone can do it, she can and I'm certainly not counting her out of a return come January'.

The first Grand Slam of the year in the 2018 Australian Open could be one of the most exciting events in recent memory with a host of stars confirmed to return to action.

"I've been No.1 for so long, so many times, and I've done things that are awesome".

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Williams and the women's draw will be chasing record prize money worth $4 million, the same figure to be awarded to the men's victor.

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

Tiley said the winners' prizemoney had broken a barrier.

Murray has been sidelined since July with a hip injury.

"Serena will be back".

Murray started the year as the world number one for the first time.

"Roger has won five titles from the nine tournaments he's played and he can't wait to come back, step out on Rod Laver Arena again and begin his title defence".

Tiley added: "We're proud of the fact she's gone around the world, she's told that her baby's AO - Australian Open, Alexis Ohanian".

"It would be nearly unbelievable to think that Rafa has taken the No. 1 spot in tennis unless you know how driven and committed he is to not just the sport but continuously improving himself and his game".

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