Williams and Murray to return for Australian Open

Serena Williams and Andy Murray will be taking part in the Australian Open in January, the tournament organisers have insisted.

35-year-old Williams’s last event was the Australian Open in January, as she found out she was pregnant just before the tournament in Melbourne and she went on to dominate the event, winning without dropping a set and beating her sister Venus in the final.

Williams has since given birth to a her daughter, but she will be in Australia to defend her title, that is according to tournament director Craig Tilley, who says Andy Murray will also be heading Down Under.


“All the top players will be back in Melbourne,” said Tilley.

On Williams, he said: “We’re proud of the fact she’s gone around the world, she’s told that her baby’s AO – Australian Open, Alexis Ohanian.

“We have a special relationship with Serena, the Williams family, both her and Venus. She wants to come back in 2018 and defend her title. 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.”

He also says Murray, who has not played since July with a hip problem, will be be back in Australia, alongside the likes of Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikor – who have also been missing through injury.

Tiley said: “On the men’s side, there has been a lot of concern and conjecture around Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori. I can tell you that in talking to Andy, he has been training and he is preparing for having a great year in 2018.

“How much would this year have hurt him, to watch over the entire year Roger and Rafa share four grand slam titles – he would not have like that. As competitive as Andy is, we know he’s back and he’ll want to improve his current ranking of number three in the world and getting back to number one.”

Bookmakers have no doubt that Serena will bounce back to form and she is firm favourite at 4/1 to lift the title.

Rupert Adams of William Hill told us: “If anyone can get match fit in time for the Australian Open then Serena is your girl. Let’s face it a 70% Serena beats a 100% anyone else.”

Murray is being backed to do well in Australia too, and listed fourth favourite at 9/2 behind favourites Rafa Nadal and Roger Federer at 3/1, and Novak Djokovic who is 7/2.

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