Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka Anticipated to Join the Australian Open Lineup

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Rafael Nadal and Naomi Osaka Anticipated to Join the Australian Open Lineup

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Melbourne, Australia – Three former Australian Open champions, including Naomi Osaka, Caroline Wozniacki, and Angelique Kerber, are poised to make their return to Melbourne Park in January after taking maternity leave. They will be joined by the 2022 Australian Open winner, Rafael Nadal, and the hometown favorite, Nick Kyrgios.

Tournament director Craig Tiley revealed on Wednesday that both Nadal, who has been recovering from a left hip flexor injury, and Kyrgios, who has been dealing with knee and wrist issues, are expected to come back from their respective injuries and compete in an attempt to challenge Novak Djokovic’s dominance at Rod Laver Arena. Djokovic has secured 10 of his record 24 Grand Slam titles at this venue.

Tiley expressed his confidence in Nadal’s return, saying, “Our 2022 champion, Rafa Nadal, has been diligently rehabilitating for most of this year. 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.”

The men’s field is expected to be led by Djokovic and the No. 2-ranked Carlos Alcaraz, while prominent female players like Aryna Sabalenka, Iga Swiatek, and US Open champion Coco Gauff are anticipated to participate in the women’s draw.

The Australian Open is scheduled to take place from January 14 to 28, with a significant change in its opening day, now being held on a Sunday for the first time. This move aligns the Australian Open with the French Open as the only tennis majors to span 15 days.

Tiley also announced that the tournament will pay tribute to Australian legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley on the 50th anniversary of her first Australian Open victory in 1974, one of her four titles at the event. She also won Wimbledon twice and the French Open once.

In her honor, Goolagong Cawley’s image will be featured on the coin used before matches at the Australian Open and at all warm-up tournaments in Australia leading up to the year’s first major.

Reference:

https://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202310/11/WS6526179ca31090682a5e7e79.html

https://www.espn.in/tennis/story/_/id/38628155/rafael-nadal-naomi-osaka-expected-australian-open-field

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