1 of 5 | Novak Djokovic of Serbia is the top men's player on the entry list for the 2022 Australian Open. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Ash Barty and Naomi Osaka are among the top players on the 2022 Australian Open entry list, tournament organizers announced Wednesday. Serena Williams and Roger Federer are not on the list.
The 2022 Australian Open runs from Jan. 17 through 30 in Melbourne. Full capacity crowds are expected to return to the tournament after a limited number of spectators was permitted last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Switzerland's Federer, 40, announced in November that he planned to skip the first Grand Slam tournament on the annual tennis calendar. The No. 16 player in the ATP singles rankings is recovering from knee surgery.
Williams, 40, said in November that her hamstring injury was "much better" and she planned to play in the tournament.
"While this is never an easy decision to make, I am not where I need to be physically to compete," Williams said in a tournament news release.
"Melbourne is one of my favorite cities to visit and I look forward to playing at the Australian Open every year. I will miss seeing the fans, but am excited to return and compete at my highest level."
Federer owns six Australian Open singles titles. Williams, the No. 41 player in the WTA rankings, owns seven singles titles from Melbourne.
No. 46 Bianca Andreescu of Canada also will miss the tournament. She announced a break from tennis Monday.
Serbia's Djokovic, the top men's player and defending champion, is the favorite to win the men's singles title. The men's circuit features 49 of the Top 50 players from the ATP rankings.
No. 82 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland is not in the field. Spain's Nadal, the No, 6 player in the world, will return to the court for the first time since August. No. 15 Dominic Thiem of Austria also plans to return after a six-month injury hiatus.
No. 2 Daniil Medvedev of Russia and 2020 Summer Games gold medalist Alexander Zverev (3) of Germany are among the other top men's players on the entry list.
Djokovic, Federer and Nadal each are tied with 20 career Grand Slam singles titles, the most in the history of men's tennis.
The women's circuit features 48 of the Top 50 players in the WTA rankings, including Australia's Barty (1), American Sofia Kenin (12), Japan's Osaka (No. 13) and 2020 Summer Games gold medalist Belinda Bencic of Switzerland (23).
Osaka is the defending champion. Barty is the favorite to win the 2022 women's singles title in Melbourne.