Roger Federer and Serena Williams were among the entries announced Thursday for the coronavirus-disrupted Australian Open, with tournament director Craig Tiley vowing a “happy Slam” after months of painstaking planning.
All the world’s top players have signed on, led by world number ones Novak Djokovic and Ashleigh Barty.
There was a question mark over Swiss great Federer, who warned this month he was in a “race against time” to be fit after two rounds of knee surgery.
But he has begun training in Dubai and was among those entered to play at Melbourne Park as he targets a seventh title.
US superstar Williams, who like Federer turns 40 next year, is also committed as she once again attempts to pull level with Margaret Court as a 24-time Grand Slam champion. Her last triumph at the majors came in Australia in 2017 when she was pregnant.
“There are so many great storylines for AO 2021,” said Tiley. “Serena is gunning for her eighth title while Novak, 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.”
The opening Grand Slam of the year, which will be played in front of at least 50 percent of normal crowds, has been pushed back three weeks until February 8.
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