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11 October 2017, 12:29 | Andy Ferguson
Roger Federer won the men's singles title at Melbourne Park in January
The two of them, along with the three-time Grand Slam victor Stan Wawrinka and 14th ranked Kei Nishikori, will return to action in Melbourne as tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed the news.
Her first child's initials are the same as the first Grand Slam of the year and Williams had previously outlined her plans to defend the title they won together - despite the tournament starting just four months after she gave birth.
"Serena goes back, She wants to come back in 2018 and defend his title".
The 35-year-old mother of one beat her sister Venus in the Melbourne final, and hopes to return to grand slam tennis in time for the Australian Open in January next year, Tiley said.
Including her seven Australian Open titles, Williams has won a total of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, more than anyone else in the Open-era and one shy to tie the record held by Australian Margaret Court, who coincidentally, won three of her titles after returning from giving birth to a son in 1973. "She was eight weeks pregnant when she played the Australian Open and very few people knew that".
If that's in Melbourne, she'll be competing for more money.
The 2018 Open will offer record prizemoney of $55 million, with the men's and women's winners each to pocket a record $4 million.
Having generated record broadcast figures this year, Tiley said next year's event would again provide excitement and drama, particularly if, as expected.
In the men's field, Tiley confirmed six-time victor Novak Djokovic and fellow former world No. 1 Andy Murray, who have both had injuries this year, would play in Melbourne 2018 along with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, who contested a classic final last January.
"I've been in contact with all the top players", he said.
The women's trophy will be presented by U.S. great Billie Jean King, 50 years after she won her first Australian Open title.
"Serena is such a remarkable athlete there's now nearly an expectation she'll reach the final, as though it's a forgone conclusion", Tiley said.
Meanwhile, Tiley could not guarantee wayward Australian Bernard Tomic would get a start in the men's draw.
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