Seven times champion Serena Williams will be back at the Australian Open in 2019 having missed her title defense this year after giving birth, organizers said Tuesday.
The 23-time grand slam winner, who won on her last appearance in 2017 while pregnant, will be joined in January’s tournament by double Melbourne Park champion Victoria Azarenka who was forced to withdraw from the 2018 event because of a custody battle with her baby’s father.
It will be Williams’s first major since the US Open in September when she lost to Naomi Osaka in a match that will be remembered for her arguments with the umpire.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said Tuesday he was expecting a full contingent of the top 100 men and women players in Melbourne next year.
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