Serena to pursue history in Australia
Serena Williams' relentless quest to equal Margaret Court's grand slam record will continue at the Australian Open in January, when the American will chase an eighth Melbourne Park crown.
The former world No 1 is among the key entries for the January 20-February 2 major, which will be launched Tuesday with skyrocketing prizemoney and the imminent presence of the world's best players.
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With prizemoney set to rise again to record levels from $62.5 million, Andy Murray is also set to return to Rod Laver Arena after it was feared the tournament had seen the last of the five-time runner-up last January.
The Scot has since regained fitness after radical hip surgery and will be among a string of major winners to sign on for the first grand slam of the season.
With Australia's charge to be led by world No 1 Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur, Naomi Osaka will seek to defend her singles crown as Novak Djokovic bids for a record eighth men's title.
At 38, Williams will have to defy history to match Court's tally of 24 grand slam singles titles.
The American first contested the Open in 1998 before advancing to victory in 2003, '05, '07, '9-10, 2015 and '17 - with her most recent success here coming while she was pregnant.
Since giving birth to her daughter Alexis in 2017, Williams has contested and lost four major finals, including last month's US Open to Canadian Bianca Andreescu.
Williams, Osaka, Barty, Andreescu and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will again be among the tournament's biggest drawcards.
Roger Federer, Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Daniil Medvedev, Stan Wawrinka and Murray are among the high-profile men to sign up for next year's Melbourne Park blockbuster.