Serena set for Australia Open


At a news conference Tuesday called to announce an increase in prize money for the year's first major, tournament director Craig Tiley said Williams was planning on playing the January 15-28 Australian Open.

She was eight weeks pregnant when she won a record 23rd major at last January's Australian Open and after her daughter's birth she announced her initials were a nod to the tournament.

Australian Open director Craig Tiley has claimed that he expects Andy Murray and Serena Williams to compete in Melbourne in January.

"Serena, the competitor that she is, she wants to win more than the 23 Grand Slam titles that she has", he said.

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

In 2018, both the men's and women's winners will collect a $4m cheque, up from $3.7m in 2017, while the entire prize money pool has increased by 10% to $55m.

Tiley said Williams was back in training to defend her title.

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Williams, who gave birth to a daughter in September, will join six-time victor Novak Djokovic and former world No.1 Andy Murray on court in Australia, the tournament's director Craig Tiley said today.

The 2018 Australian Open has been officially launched with the world's top tennis players committed to playing in the tournament. "Obviously, at training now, there is several months to go and it will be up to her as far as where she is with her fitness".

Serena Williams is aiming to make her comeback to the grand slam circuit at the 2018 Australian Open with a record $4 million purse on offer. "And am pleased to announce we'll have the full top 100 men and women returning to the Australian Open".

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

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.

On Williams, Tiley added: "Serena will be back".