Serena Williams, Andy Murray to compete in Australian Open

SerenaWilliams-cropped

SerenaWilliams-cropped

Serena Williams is expected to return to Melbourne to defend her Australian Open title in January in a tournament that holds a special place in her heart.

Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title, one short of Margaret Court's all-time record of 24, at the 2017 Australian Open.

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

Following 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".

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Williams was pregnant in January when she defeated her sister Venus in the championship match.

"I've been in contact with all the top players", he said. She now leads. It is in several months and, obviously, it will be to her to determine where she is physically. "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".

Tiley announced that the overall prize money of the tournament will increase by about 10 percent, to $55 million Australian dollars, about 42.7 million American dollars, with the men's and singles champions to earn about $3.1 million, an increase of about 20 percent.

The first Grand Slam of the year in the 2018 Australian Open could be one of the most exciting events in recent memory with a host of stars confirmed to return to action.

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

The five-time runner-up in Melbourne has been out injured since he exited Wimbledon with a hip injury in July having made the decision to take the remainder of the season off for his recovery.

Meanwhile, Tiley could not guarantee wayward Australian Bernard Tomic would get a start in the men's draw.

"It's the first time ever that both the women and the men's victor will receive $4m each - that has not been done by any other Grand Slam or any other event", says Tiley.

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