The top Croatian tennis players will fight in the first Grand Slam tournament of the 2019 season – the Australian Open.
Petra Martić and Donna Vekić in the female competition, and Marin Čilić, Borna Ćorić and Ivo Karlović in the men’s competition, are set to play the first Grand Slam tournament of the season, the Australian Open, which will be held at the Melbourne Park grounds from January 14 to 27 next year, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on December 5, 2018.
Of the 104 men’s tennis players, 101 are currently ranked the best on the individual ATP rankings, while three others qualified using the protected ranking. This list includes five-time Australian Open finalist and former World No. 1, British player Andy Murray, followed by Serbian player Janko Tipsarević and Belgian player Steve Darcis.
On the female side, the top 102 players on the current individual WTA ranking will play in the tournament. Three tennis players also qualified using protected ranking, including Swiss player Timea Bacsinszky, German player Laura Siegemund and American player Bethanie Mattek-Sands. The applicants, however, do not include Polish player Agnieszka Radwanska who has recently announced the end of her professional career at 29 years of age.
The 37-year-old legendary female player Serena Williams, who is a seven-time winner of the Australian Open, has announced her return to the tournament next year. Williams last won the Australian Open in 2017 while she was in her second month of pregnancy. The 2017 Australian Open win was the 23rd individual Grand Slam title for Williams.
The 2019 Australian Open is considered the strongest tournament yet as officials could not recall the last time both the men’s and women’s top 100 players would participate in the opening tournament.
“It’s an exciting time of year and we can’t wait to welcome this exceptionally strong player field to Melbourne for Australian Open 2019,” tournament director Craig Tiley said.
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