Andy Murray and Serena Williams will both featured in the 2018 Australian Open after missing periods of this year through injury and pregnancy, respectively.
Former world No. 1 Williams will not feature in 2017 after she gave birth to Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. on September 1, while a recurring hip injury has meant Murray hasn’t played since July.
Tournament director Craig Tiley spoke on Tuesday and confirmed both players will be in action, with men’s stars Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka also possibilities for the first major of 2018, per BBC Sport:
“All the top players will be back in Melbourne. 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 [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] share four Grand Slam titles – he would not have liked 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.”
Neither player is likely to waste time in their efforts to re-establish dominance and have both been listed as favourites for the tournament, with Murray a 11/4 (3.75) shot while Williams leads the women’s odds at 4/1 (5.00).
Image courtesy of The Independent.
2018 Australian Open Men’s Singles Odds
Andy Murray: 11/4 (3.75)
Rafael Nadal: 3/1 (4.00)
Novak Djokovic: 7/2 (4.50)
Roger Federer: 3/1 (4.00)
Alexander Zverev: 10/1 (11.00)
2018 Australian Open Women’s Singles Odds
Serena Williams: 4/1 (5.00)
Garbine Muguruza: 7/1 (8.00)
Maria Sharapova: 8/1 (9.00)
Karolina Pliskova: 10/1 (11.00)
Victoria Azarenka: 12/1 (13.00)