Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Sports | By Mabel Barber

Serena Williams, Andy Murray to compete in Australian Open

Serena Williams, Andy Murray to compete in Australian Open

The two of them, along with the three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka and 14th ranked Kei Nishikori, will return to action in Melbourne as tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed the news.

The 36-year-old Serena Williams gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on September 1 and has previously said she plans to return to playing in 2018.

Speaking after an announcement on what fans could expect of the 2018 tournament, he said: "Serena, the competitor that she is, she wants to win more than the 23 grand slam titles that she has".

New mother Serena Williams will be chasing a record $4m in prize money when she returns to defend her Australian Open crown in January.

"She wants to come back in 2018 and defend her title and she's in training now".

Williams was pregnant last January when she beat her sister Venus in the final.

Williams' stellar year saw her return to the world top five for the first time since 2011, the year she was diagnosed with strength-sapping Sjogren's Syndrome.

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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.

Another star who is expected to return to action, though there is no confirmation, is 2017 Australian Open champion Serena Williams as he she prepares for her comeback. "We look forward to welcoming her and again go on that journey of breaking the all-time record for the most number of Grand Slams", he added.

Tiley said the winners' prizemoney had broken a barrier.

"Her baby's initials are AO [Alexis Ohanian] and she's suggested she should also have her name on the 2017 trophy, so the AO is well and truly top of mind for her at the moment", Tiley said.

Tiley also announced that former World No. 1 Andy Murray will compete at Melbourne Park in the tournament, which spans from January 15-28.

"Serena will be back".

Australia's charge in the men's draw will be led by world No.21 Nick Kyrgios but Tiley couldn't guarantee that Bernard Tomic would get a start.

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