Australian Open 2024: Rafael Nadal, Naomi Osaka, Wozniacki set to return


Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal

Naomi Osaka, Rafael Nadal

Three former Australian Open champions Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber are set to return to Melbourne Park in January following maternity leave, joined by 2022 winner Rafael Nadal and hometown favorite Nick Kyrgios.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley told the tournament launch Wednesday that Nadal (left hip flexor) and Kyrgios (knee, wrist) are expected to return from major injuries in a bid to challenge Novak Djokovic’s dominance at Rod Laver Arena, where he’s clinched 10 of his record 24 Grand Slam titles.

“Our 2022 champion Rafa Nadal has been working hard on his rehab for most of this year,” Tiley said.

“He always brings his best to Melbourne and no one can doubt how hard he competes. I’ve been in touch with his team and he’s now back on the court and looking forward to returning to Melbourne in January.”

Tiley said Djokovic and No. 2-ranked Carlos Alcaraz are expected to lead the men’s contingent, while leading players Aryna Sabalenk a and Iga Swiatek and U.S. Open champion Coco Gauff are also expected to play in the women’s draw.

The tournament will run from Jan. 14-28, with its opening day of play on a Sunday for the first time. The Australian Open joins the French Open as the only tennis majors to be held over 15 days.

Tiley also announced that the tournament will honor Australian legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley on the 50th anniversary of the first of her four Australian Open title victories in 1974. She also won Wimbledon twice and the French Open once.

Tiley said Goolagong Cawley’s image will feature on the coin used before matches at the Australian Open and at all warm-up tournaments in Australia in advance of the first major of the year.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Oct 11 2023 | 10:24 AM IST


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