Serena Williams, Andy Murray to compete in Australian Open

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Serena Williams hits a shot during the French Open last year. Photo by David Silpa/UPI
Serena Williams hits a shot during the French Open last year. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

Serena Williams will begin her comeback when she attempts to defend her title at the Australian Open, tournament director Craig Tiley said on Tuesday.

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


Williams was pregnant in January when she defeated her sister Venus in the championship match. The 36-year-old Serena Williams gave birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., on Sept. 1 and has previously said she plans to return to playing in 2018.

"Serena will be back," Tiley said. "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."

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Williams has captured 23 Grand Slam singles titles, one more than Steffi Graf for the Open-era record. Australian Margaret Court is the all-time leader with 24.

Murray has been sidelined since July with a hip injury.

"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. "How much would this year have hurt him, to watch over the entire year Roger (Federer) and Rafa (Nadal) share four Grand Slam titles -- he would not have liked that.


"As competitive as Andy is, we know he's back and he'll want to improve his current ranking of No. 3 in the world and getting back to No. 1"

In addition to the 30-year-old Murray, six-time winner Novak Djokovic is expected to return on the heels of sustaining an elbow injury at Wimbledon.

"I've been in contact with all the top players and am pleased to announce we'll have the full top 100 men and women returning to the Australian Open," Tiley said.

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