Australian Open 2019: History beckons as Serena Williams shoots for Slam history

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki lifts her maiden Grand Slam at Melbourne Park a year ago

Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki lifts her maiden Grand Slam at Melbourne Park a year ago

After returning from the maternity leave, Williams made it to the final of the two Grand Slams but could not surpass the final hurdle.

Kanepi, 33, is yet to progress beyond the third round of the Australian Open, though she has reached the quarter-finals twice at every other Grand Slam.

Regarding the controversial final against Osaka at Flushing Meadows - when she raged against umpire Carlos Ramos who imposed three code violations, the final one resulting in the loss of a game - Williams said she had put it put behind her and meant to "move on to bigger and better things". The Belarussian surged up the WTA rankings previous year, winning her first two titles and ending it just outside the top 10 and arrived in Melbourne fresh from winning in Shenzhen. "I see hunger and I see boldness", 18-times major singles champion Evert said in a conference call looking ahead to the Australian Open.

However, up-and-comer Naomi Osaka will be out to show that she's here to stay in Grand Slam play after winning her first major at the US Open previous year.

It was her 23rd Grand Slam championship.

The 28-year-old Dane insists she can manage the debilitating auto-immune condition, which sometimes leaves her so exhausted she cannot raise her arms above her head.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, who claimed her first major title by beating Halep in the final of the Australian Open past year, will start the defence of her title against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium. He expects her to be in the title mix going forward.

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She warmed up for Melbourne by making the semi-finals of the Brisbane International last week, where she blamed a poor attitude for losing to Lesia Tsurenko. My mother was anxious and said if she was in my place she would stop and just enjoy life.

"I never feel pressure to perform".

Australia Open is slated to be held from January 14 to 27 in Melbourne, Australia.

The women's draw looks more open even with Serena Williams, the most dominant force in the sport, back and chasing a 24th grand slam singles title to tie Margaret Court's all-time record.

Yet she appears to have put the emotional turmoil experienced in NY behind her and is revelling in her status as standard bearer for the next generation of women's players.

"I think that sometimes we've gone too far", Bernard Giudicelli told a tennis magazine as the federation pledged to introduce a dress code for this year's tournament in Paris.

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