Serena, Nadal lead stellar cast at Australian Open

Annette Crawford
December 8, 2018

Serena Williams has been named as 9/2 favourite to win the 2019 Australian Open following confirmation of her entry for the first tennis Major of next year.

Williams' straight-sets defeat at Flushing Meadows was overshadowed by a row with umpire Carlos Ramos, who she labelled a "liar" and a "thief" after being penalised with a game penalty following code violations for on-court coaching, racket abuse and verbal abuse.

Her latest women's singles title - again against Venus - came in 2017, when she was eight weeks pregnant with her daughter, Alexis.

Having been unable to defend her title in 2018, Williams has gone straight to the head of the betting as the woman to beat in 2019, with Ladbrokes going 9/2 on her taking back the crown from last year's victor Caroline Wozniacki (12/1).

Williams backed out of the 2018 Australian Open, however, due to insufficient preparation time after her pregnancy.

Williams will compete in the Hopman Cup before she features in the Australian Open which starts on January 14, and the American will be going in search of her eighth singles title at the tournament.

Serena Williams is one of the most successful tennis players of all time, to date winning 23 Grand Slam titles. Prior to Wimbledon, she was ranked 183rd by the WTA.

Nearly all of the world's top 100 men and women's players are also due at Melbourne Park, including Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.

The 37-year-old tennis star, who is now ranked No. 16 among women, was named one of the top 102 in her sport and has since committed to competing in January's Melbourne event, the first of four annual Grand Slam tourneys.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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