Plenty Of Familiar Names Headed To Play Australian Open

WASHINGTON, December 25, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

All of the Top 100 men and 98 of the Top 100 women are provisionally entered for the 2021 Australian Open beginning February 8 in Melbourne.

The provisional entry lists for both the men’s and women’s singles draws have been released and if Roger Federer is healthy enough to play, it would be the first time the men’s Big Three – Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic – has played together in a major since the 2020 Australian Open. Meanwhile, the only two women missing from the Top 100 are No. 84 Carla Suárez Navarro, who is undergoing treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma, and No. 89 Taylor Townsend, who is pregnant with her first child. The Australian Open will mark the return of women’s World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty, who has not played in a WTA tournament since Doha last February.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the world’s best players to Melbourne and what promises to be a spectacular Australian Open following a year of disruption on a scale none of us has ever experienced before,” Tennis Australia chief executive and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said Thursday in a statement posted on the Australian Open website. “Although the AO will look a bit different to previous years, the safety of everyone is our top priority.

“We have the opportunity to stage a very safe, and happy Slam, and give the players the experience of competing in front of crowds again, something they’ve missed for most of this year.”

Among the Top 10 men entered are World No. 1 Djokovic, who will be the top seed, plus: World No. 2 Nadal; No. 3 Dominic Thiem, No. 4 Daniil Medvedev, No. 5 Federer, No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Alexander Zverev, No. 8 Andrey Rublev, No. 9 Diego Schwartzman and No. 10 Matteo Berrettini.

Joining Barty among the women’s Top 10 are: World No. 2 Simona Halep, No. 3 Naomi Osaka, No. 4 Sofia Kenin, No. 5 Elina Svitolina, No. 6 Karolina Pliskova, No. 7 Bianca Andreescu, No. 8 Petra Kvitova, No. 9 Kiki Bertens and No. 10 Aryna Sabalenka.

“There are so many great storylines for AO 2021,” Tiley said. “Serena (Williams) is gunning for her eighth AO title while Novak (Djokovic), who often seems invincible at Melbourne Park, is going for a record ninth title. Our own world No. 1 Ash Barty will return to Grand Slam competition, as will Roger Federer as he comes back from injury. And there’s a new crop of rising stars coming up to challenge them all.

“It’s going to be a great few weeks of tennis here in Melbourne.”

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What they’re podcasting

On this week’s Tennis.com Podcast, hosts Nina Pantic and Irina Falconi welcome Judy Murray and co-producer of “Driving Force” Rosemary Reed, who are advocates for women in sports and film.

What they’re sharing on social media

Stefanos Tsitsipas / Getting his reps in on the sand

Caroline Wozniacki / Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Fabio Fognini, Grigor Dimitrov / Merry Christmas everyone!

More Merry Christmas around the world!

Alizé Cornet / Joyeux Noël mes amis

Angelique Kerber / Happy Holidays everyone!

Karolina Pliskova / Krásné a veselé Vánoce!

Iga Swiatek / Thank you for all the support. 🎄