Serena targets Australian Open title defence: organisers

Posted October 11, 2017

The 35-year-old discovered she was expecting shortly before the 2017 Australian Open in January but went on to win the tournament without dropping a set, beating her sister Venus in the Melbourne final 6-4 6-4.

"I'm very happy to confirm that all the top players will be back in Melbourne in January", Tiley said at the tournament's launch.

Including her seven Australian Open titles, Williams has won a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than anyone else in the Open-era and one shy to tie the record held by Australian Margaret Court, who coincidentally, won three of her titles after returning from giving birth to a son in 1973. "It will be up to her as far as where she is with her fitness".

'If anyone can do it, she can and I'm certainly not counting her out of a return come January'.

Serena Williams after winning the 2017 Australian Open, when she was pregnant with her first child.

Despite Williams' past assertions, however, she's been mum lately about her intentions with tennis, preferring instead to share more parental-oriented tidbits.

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Additionally, Tiley confirmed the prize money for next year's tournament will rise by 10 per cent to 55 million Australian dollars (£32.5 million), with the men and women's champions earning 4 million Australian dollars (£2.3 million). "And am pleased to announce we'll have the full top 100 men and women returning to the Australian Open".

Having generated record broadcast figures this year, Tiley said next year's event would again provide excitement and drama, particularly if, as expected.

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.

"Serena is such a remarkable athlete there's now nearly an expectation she'll reach the final, as though it's a forgone conclusion", Tiley said.

"He loves playing here, loves the Aussie fans, and has said his Australian Open win this year was one of the most meaningful of his career", Tiley said.