When Is the Australian Open Draw?

Serena Williams lifts the Australian Open trophy in 2017. Now she is back looking for a record-equalling 24th Slam

Williams reached the Wimbledon and US Open finals after her return past year but lost both, leaving her one short of Australian Margaret Court's tally of major singles titles.

Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, who claimed her first major title by beating Halep in the final of the Australian Open previous year, will start the defence of her title against Alison Van Uytvanck of Belgium.

After giving birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian jnr during the 2017 US Open, Williams eventually returned to the circuit and unveiled a figure-hugging Black Panther-inspired catsuit at last year's French Open.

Talking about the draw, Serena has been handed a tough draw and could meet world number one Simona Halep in round four, and if she gets through that, Karolina Pliskova in the last eight.

Williams enters the year's first grand slam ranked 16th, but she still remains the favourite in Melbourne even if she lost to Naomi Osaka in the Flushing Meadows final. "It's something that I clearly want but I have to be able to get there and beat a lot of good players to get it", the American said.

The legacy of Serena Williams, who next week will compete in her first Grand Slam since her fiery clash with a US Open umpire, will not be harmed by the infamous feud that tarnished the NY final, American great Chris Evert said on Wednesday.

Fourth seed Osaka faces Poland's Magda Linette first up and may need to battle past twice champion Victoria Azarenka in the third round.

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"The first time I came back here and hit on the courts, I thought, 'Okay, I'm home.' I feel like these courts are suited for me, so it's incredible to be back". "I'm trying to change it more, and I think I have".

The world number one suffered a shock straight-sets defeat to the experienced Estonian in the opening round of the US Open last August.

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.

"The fact that she could break the record for overall grand slams, that will overshadow everything at the end of the day".

She has looked sharp at the Hopman Cup and maintained her 100% singles record even though Germany lost to Federer's Switzerland in the final. The LIVE telecast of Australian Open in India will be available on Sony ESPN/HD network.

"I'm surprised that I'm still at this level, that I'm still in the top 10".

The 31-year-old went into a bewildering slump in mid-2016 that only ended when he won Wimbledon last year, before he went on to claim his third US Open crown and move to 14 grand slam titles, three behind Rafa Nadal.

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