Published: Sat, December 08, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Serena, Nadal, Murray all confirmed for Australian Open

Serena, Nadal, Murray all confirmed for Australian Open

Her latest women's singles title - again against Venus - came in 2017, when she was eight weeks pregnant with her daughter, Alexis.

Williams' straight-sets defeat at Flushing Meadows was overshadowed by a row with umpire Carlos Ramos, who she labelled a "liar" and a "thief" after being penalised with a game penalty following code violations for on-court coaching, racket abuse and verbal abuse.

"It's always special to see our defending champions - Caroline (Wozniacki) had her first Grand Slam win here this year, so will be keen to start 2019 on a high", said tournament organiser Craig Tiley.

Williams backed out of the 2018 Australian Open, however, due to insufficient preparation time after her pregnancy.

Before then, she will warm up at an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, followed by the Hopman Cup in Perth.

The former world number one has not featured on the WTA Tour since the US Open - when she was beaten in the final by Naomi Osaka. Before the Open, Serena's year had been headlined by her return to full-time tennis, with the veteran appearing at the French Open and Wimbledon.

In her personal life, Serena Williams has been married to Alexis Ohanian since 2017, with the couple having got engaged in 2016.

World No. 1 Simona Halep heads up the women's field and Novak Djokovic, seeking his record seventh Australian Open title, is the No. 1-ranked male player.

Five-time runner-up Andy Murray has also been entered to the first Major of 2019, thanks to his protected ranking, which permits the Scotsman direct entry in up to nine tournaments from the point at which he returned from 11 months out, namely June 2018.

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