In what could be a hint towards a big announcement coming from tennis ace Serena Williams, the seven-time Australian Open Champions’ name was missing on the entry list of the 2022 edition of the season-opening grand slam. This suggests that Serena is set to miss the tournament.
Notably, she has not played competitive tennis since retiring from her first-round match at Wimbledon with a right-hamstring injury which has implied that her ranking has slipped to a lowly 41st. The last of her record 23rd Grand Slam singles titles came in 2017 at the Australian Open. She faced a defeat to Naomi Osaka in the semifinals in 2021 in straight sets.
In another big news, world number 1 Novak Djokovic finds his name on the entry list which more or less makes it clear that the Serb will be present at the Grand Slam despite Australia’s restrictions of all players, officials and fans being fully vaccinated for the dreaded Coronavirus infection. Djokovic has not yet revealed the status of his vaccination but has even been named in the Serbian team for the ATP Cup set to commence in Sydney from January 1.
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 8, 2021
While Serena’s exit is yet to be confirmed, Roger Federer is all set to miss the event as he continues to recover from his surgery. Djokovic is tied with Federer and Rafael Nadal at 20 for the most number of Grand Slam titles and while Djokovic seems more or less confirmed and Federer out, Nadal will also return at the Australian Open in a bid to take his titles tally to 21.
It is being learned Daniil Medvedev, who ended Djokovic’s bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam by beating him in the US Open final, along with Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev is listed above Nadal who is sixth and is not playing for Spain in the ATP Cup.
In the women’s entry list it is Ash Barty who is at the top as she strives to end what has been a long drought for Australian women at the tournament. Christine O’Neil in 1978 had clinched the title but since then no Australian woman has had the honour.